City of Colwood recognizes the passing of Dick Emery, a long time community leader who has made significant contributions to Colwood. (colwood.ca)

City of Colwood recognizes the passing of Dick Emery, a long time community leader who has made significant contributions to Colwood. (colwood.ca)

Colwood mourns loss of community leader

The death of Dick Emery has cast a shadow of sadness across his beloved Colwood and beyond.

Emery, who was born in Colwood to Ernest and Hilda Emery on March 28, 1930, attended Colwood Elementary before embarking on pursuits that have forged a lasting legacy in the city where he spent most of his life.

His father was a driving force in the establishment of the Colwood Fire District, and Emery served as one of the original members of the Colwood Volunteer Fire Department, while he working at his father’s electrical firm, E. H. Emery and Sons. He rose through the ranks during a career that spanned 1946 to 1978, and served as fire chief from 1952 to 1964. Emery was a driving force in the creation of the Colwood Fire Hall Museum, which opened in 1994. He was inducted as a lifetime member of the Colwood Fire Department in 1988.

Colwood Fire Chief John Cassidy said Emery’s passing will leave a void in the lives of many people. “It’s with sadness we heard of his passing. I knew him more socially because he had retired from the department before I joined. He was a real mover and shaker, someone who always spoke his mind in a way that was very refreshing. He loved the city and was greatly invested in it, a tireless, dedicated volunteer. Always giving back was part of Dick’s makeup. He made a huge difference on so many levels in the community, not limited to just the fire department,” Cassidy noted. “He will be sorely missed.”

Emery’s service to the community he so deeply loved indeed extended far beyond the fire department. He served as a Capital Regional District director, volunteer, business owner and passionate supporter of numerous community causes. He received many accolades for his devoted service, including being named Westshore Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the year in 1998, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Colwood in 2015. During his time as a CRD director, Emery played a major role in establishing the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre. He was also deeply involved in the restoration of St. John the Baptist Heritage Church and the creation of a hall nearby named in his family’s honour that serves the community as a meeting place for numerous community organizations.

For a more detailed look at Emery’s life, stories shared, photos and a brief video, visit colwood.ca/dickemery.