Political pioneer Christine Lamb dies

"We have lost a great citizen," Mayor George Peary said with the passing of Christine Lamb.

The late Christine Lamb

The late Christine Lamb

“We have lost a great citizen,” Mayor George Peary said with the passing of Christine Lamb.

Among her many services to the community, Lamb was the first woman elected to Matsqui council, serving three terms from 1988 to 1993. She passed away this week.

“She was one of the real bedrock supporters of the District of Matsqui, and the City of Abbotsford,” Peary said. “She was polite and gentle, but she could be fiesty when she got her teeth into something.”

One of her causes was the Clearbrook library, and on March 10 she asked Peary to come and see her at the Christine Morrison Hospice in Mission. She was weak, being fed ozygen through her nose, but she visited with her old friend, and made her point that he should see to it that the lower level of the library be finished off, and used as a library.

“That was just like Chris Lamb – spunky as ever, weak as she was.”

Lamb dedicated her free time to volunteer work and improving the quality of life for residents. She was volunteer director of Abbotsford Community Foundation for nine years, director of the MSA Hospital Board for nine years, and was active in several non-profit organizations including MSA Museum Society, Abbotsford Genealogical Society and Probus Club of Abbotsford.

On council, Peary described her as a team player, but not afraid to speak her mind. “And when she spoke, we listened.”

He said she brings to mind a famous quote: “She would prefer to light a candle, rather than curse the darkness.”

Mike de Jong, Minister of Health and Abbotsford West MLA, issued a ministerial statement marking her passing:

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Christine Lamb, a pioneer of our community in every way. The principles of honesty, humility and integrity were the hallmarks of the public service she provided to her community throughout her decades of involvement.

Chris, as she was known to all, was the only woman to serve on Matsqui council during its 105 year history, and was significant in organizing the municipality’s centennial celebrations, acting as the event’s co-chair in 1992. Matsqui merged with Abbotsford to create the current city boundaries in 1995.

Chris was active in community and provincial politics throughout her life, and twice served as a councilor on Matsqui council. She was also dedicated to the history of our community, and in many ways was our unofficial historian.

She always had a ready smile, but she also demonstrated an uncommon strength in her role as council. While she brought a woman’s perspective to municipal government, she was also considered to one of the strongest and forceful members of council when it came to issues that were close to her heart.

Even in retirement she maintained a watchful eye on our political representatives of the day, and ensured that if there was an issue that concerned her, her views were made known.

Her great and many contributions will be missed, but through her dedication and devotion to our community, she will forever remain a pillar in the history of Matsqui, Bradner and Mount Lehman, and in the City of Abbotsford.

Christine Lamb will be missed, but she will not be forgotten.