The first ever president of ARMS, Tom Cadieux, has passed away. (Screen grab)

The first ever president of ARMS, Tom Cadieux, has passed away. (Screen grab)

Founding president of ARMS in Maple Ridge passes away

Tom Cadieux was 73 when he died on Wednesday, Dec. 15

The founding president of the Alouette River Management Society has passed away.

Tom Cadieux died on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at the age of 73.

Geoff Clayton, another former president of ARMS, praised Cadieux as “an amazing man and motivator”, who had an ability to see the best in people to help them develop their skills and ability.

“Heart miner”, was his phrase, said Clayton.

Clayton explained he was first introduced to Cadieux in January 1994, when he received a phone call from him introducing himself as the program director at Alouette River Correctional Centre, ARCC. Cadieux told Clayton that his name was given to him, along with some others, by city councillor Gordy Robson, because he was told Clayton was “a person with heart for saving the Alouette River”.

Cadieux asked Clayton if he would be interested in a meeting with others who might be interested in forming a society to save the Alouette.

“The rest is history as every name suggested by Robson came to this informal meeting in a prison staff room at ARCC,” said Clayton. “At the close of this meeting ARMS was born, and Tom was elected President.”

Clayton said Cadieux even came up with the name of the society.

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Ken Stewart, current president of ARMS, said Cadieux was very dedicated and put a lot of time and energy into getting the ARMS group together.

And, he was an integral connection between the community and corrections, said Stewart, noting that will be his lasting legacy, since corrections continue to work closely with the hatchery.

“He just basically really took on the role of connecting the hatchery to the community,” he said.

Cadieux was Clayton’s main motivator, convincing him that if he started legal action against BC Hydro for fisheries flows releases below the dam, that he would be behind Clayton all the way.

“He was true to his word,” said Clayton.

Eventually, though, Cadieux realized that he could not continue as president of ARMS and as a senior staff member in a B.C. prison and passed the role on to Clayton.

“For those that love the Alouette River and have found the increased river flows from the dam we secured in 1996 a blessing, take your hat off to Tom Cadieux on reading this. Yes, Tom was one of the great pillars in the rebirth of the Alouette,” said Clayton in a tribute to his friend.

Cadieux was a resident of Creston, B.C. when he died.

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