KAMLOOPS — One week short of a year ago, on Christmas eve, Kamloops City councilor Marg Spina broke the news on her Facebook page that she was taking an indefinite leave of absence to receive treatment for breast cancer.
“You can be sure I will put up the fight of my life,” she wrote.
And she did, though she ultimately lost that fight this past Friday.
Who can ever forget her courage in returning to one last council meeting in May to announce that her cancer was incurable and that she would have to resign her seat. She made a principled decision to do that instead of continuing her leave of absence because, as she said, “We need a vision for the future and we need passionate people to drive it forward.”
Besides being courageous, Marg was kind, compassionate and endowed with a sunny disposition that made everyone like being around her.
Long before Marg became a City councillor, her genuine caring for those less fortunate naturally led to her involvement in good community causes. She founded the Giant Steps West Therapeutic Society for Autism, was president of the Thompson Crisis and Counselling Centre board, and was executive director of the Kamloops Food Bank.
Getting involved in local politics was a natural extension of her community work, a new level at which she could make things better. She headed up the Southern Interior Local Government Association, which gave her a chance to work on doing something about the doctor shortage, as well as advocating for seniors, youth and the vulnerable.
I never saw her enter a meeting without a smile on her face; she was always in a hurry and always ready to get to work, and was always ready with a hug for anyone she thought needed it.
She was in City Hall for all the right reasons, for an opportunity to contribute.
That’s why Marg Spina will be missed, and remembered with such respect and admiration, by so many.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.