Port Alberni has lost more than a politician

Alberni's Glenn Wong was a regional district chairman and school board trustee, but he was much more than his political career.

Glenn Wong's name plate and chair sit in solitude in the School District 70 boardroom on a Monday afternoon. A valley business and readers remember Wong's contribution to the Valley.

We are still reeling at the news that Glenn Wong, one of our community’s staunchest advocates has passed suddenly.

It goes without saying that our shock pales in comparison to that of his family and friends, to whom we pass on our condolences.

His loss will be felt in widening ripples as the weeks pass. Wong was not only the chairman of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, Cherry Creek’s director and a school board trustee, but he was an active member of this community.

Wong was so much more than his political career though.

He had a ready smile, pleasant greeting, a warm hello and sincere curiosity about how you were doing. He strived to help others be the best they could be, and strived even harder to leave our Valley a little better for his presence and efforts.

Maybe his biggest attribute was that he took pride in the Alberni Valley and made his home here.

Wong was one of those people who you know would do well at whatever he chose, wherever he chose to, as many former residents do. He could have lived anywhere but he chose to make his life here.

This quality gives a glimpse at what drove Wong’s sense of civic duty. It also speaks to why so many are mourning his loss.

Citizens should take stock of themselves and ask what they can do to leave Port Alberni a better place, much as Wong did.

While many choose to leave for greener pastures, they should remember that it was someone like Wong who chose to work to green the pastures here.