The city of Port Alberni held a celebration on Saturday for the 50th anniversary of the amalgamation of the twin cities of Alberni and Port Alberni.
The celebration kicked off with performances from local talent Alberni Teens Can Rock and the Alberni District Secondary School band, and finished with a ceremonial cake cutting.
Port Alberni mayor Mike Ruttan gave a speech, where he talked about the history of Port Alberni’s amalgamation. Although the idea had been kicking around since World War II, the main event that crystallized support for amalgamation was the Good Friday earthquake and tsunami in 1964, which resulted in $5 million in damages.
“The city councils of that day knew that together they would be stronger,” said Ruttan. “They could build new infrastructure and a better future for their citizens.”
The two cities officially amalgamated during a ceremony on October 28, 1967, to correspond with Canada’s centennial.
“Today, after 50 years, we’re incredibly proud of our city,” said Ruttan. “ We’re often referred to as ‘the community with a heart.’ And for good reason.”