When word got out that the village of Lytton needed help making B.C. history earlier this week, members of Penticton’s new council were among the first to step up.
It’s been more than 15 months since Lytton’s council gathered for an in-person meeting, amid the devastating June 2021 forest fires that burned down most of the town.
Following the 2022 civic election — a night that resulted in Lytton electing its first-ever all-female council — the village planned on holding its first in-person meeting since the destructive events last summer.
Supply shortages put the council’s inauguration ceremony in doubt, though.
A little help from their new friends in Penticton, however, gave the all-female council their moment in the spotlight and put Lytton back on the stage of B.C. politics.
“We heard that they were having challenges getting together supplies for their inauguration,” said Penticton councillor Amelia Boultbee, who was among those to drive to the Thompson-Nicola in support of Lytton. “They lost everything in the fire. Well, city staff and your new council hustled together and got flowers, a podium, flags, and even loaned the chain of office.”
Boultbee was joined by Penticton mayor Julius Bloomfield in attending Lytton council’s inauguration ceremony at a local school gym, where they volunteered their time in delivering supplies and making the village feel special once again.
“We were very proud to be able to lend a helping hand to this resilient Village which is literally rising like a phoenix from the ashes,” Boultbee added on Facebook. “I was very proud of our city to step up and support a fellow municipality like this, especially one so historic.”
Lytton’s all-female mayor and the council is just the second of its kind in B.C. history. According to CivicInfoBC, Slocan in the Kootenays did the same in 2011.
Municipal records on the site, however, only go as far as 2008.
Penticton’s newly-elected council had its own inauguration ceremony on Tuesday night, Nov. 1. Bloomfield was elected mayor on Oct. 15 after defeating incumbent John Vassilaki.
In Lytton, Denise O’Connor was elected mayor after receiving more than 67 per cent of the vote.