A man who has a plaque with his name on the chair that he regularly occupied in the audience at Abbotsford city council meetings recently died of COVID-19.
Bill Hireen died on Dec. 31 at the age of 93. He was among the 13 people who lost their lives during the COVID-19 outbreak at Menno Home.
The outbreak there began in mid-November and was declared over on Saturday (Jan. 23) after a total of 67 cases (42 residents and 25 staff) had been recorded.
Hireen – who frequently attended city council, police board and school board meetings – was known for his friendly smile, jovial demeanour and great sense of humour.
City council and then-mayor Mary Reeves acknowledged him on Nov. 17, 2003 with a plaque on the chair he regularly occupied at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.
“Mr. Hireen attends most council meetings and is a faithful follower of the deliberations of council,” stated the minutes from that meeting.
Hireen’s obituary states that he was born on March 23, 1927 and lived in Vancouver until moving to Abbotsford in 1998.
He served in the Second World War in the Royal Canadian Navy and was a truck driver and Teamsters member.
“I got to know Bill from his faithful attendance at AbbyPD police board meetings when I served there. He rarely missed a meeting, and always had a smile and a positive comment …. Bill was one of a kind. He will absolutely be missed,” wrote Coun. Sandy Blue on Hireen’s online obituary.
Hireen is survived by three children and their spouses, seven grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.