A legacy fund has been established in memory of longtime former Abbotsford mayor George Ferguson in support of programs that assist homeless people in the community.
The George Frederick Ferguson Legacy Fund has been started by Ferguson’s wife Ria, with the support of family and friends, through the Abbotsford Community Foundation.
Ferguson felt strongly about the need to help people who are homeless and worked diligently to address the issue.
The legacy fund has been introduced to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.
Ferguson, the city’s longest serving mayor, died on March 7, 2017 at the age of 91. He led Abbotsford for a combined total of 33 years (1972-2002 and 2005-08).
Ferguson began his career in local politics in 1969 as an alderman for the district of Sumas, serving three years before being elected mayor in 1972 for what was then the district of Abbotsford.
He was still in that role in 1995, when Abbotsford amalgamated with the community of Matsqui to become the new City of Abbotsford, and retained that position until 2002, when he was defeated in an election – by Mary Reeves – for the first time.
Ferguson was re-elected as mayor in 2005 and retired in December 2008 – the same year his daughter, Catherine Ferguson, was elected mayor of White Rock, a position she held for one term before deciding not to seek re-election.
Under Ferguson’s leadership, the City of Abbotsford in 1996 purchased the Abbotsford Airport from the federal government for a symbolic $10.
In addition to his work in local politics, Ferguson also served as the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), and as a soldier during the Second World War.
He received the Order of Abbotsford in June 2011 and was also chosen as the city’s Citizen of the Year.
Visit abbotsfordcf.org for more information or to make a donation to the legacy fund.