Corinne Lonsdale, the first person to receive Squamish's prestigious “Freedom of the Municipality” award for her tireless work to build the community, is set to kick off the Squamish Historical Society's (SHS) 2013 Speakers Series next month.
Lonsdale, who spent nearly 30 years in civic office as mayor and councillor, presents “50 years… Changes and Challenges in Squamish” on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Brackendale Art Gallery.
In 1964 the town of Squamish and outlying communities amalgamated to form the District of Squamish. The upcoming presentation will focus on both the past and Lonsdale's candid opinions about the district's future, organizers said in a statement.
Lonsdale, who was first elected in 1983, was instrumental in getting the Stawamus Chief designated a provincial park and in landing Quest University, despite bids from six other communities. She also established a milestone in 1993 by becoming Squamish's first female mayor.
Lonsdale will offer reflections on growing up in the valley and will speak about the community's politics, including the airport issue that nearly cost her a seat on council. Organizers are hoping for an interactive evening with audience members asking questions and making comments. Admission is by donation.