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EDITORIAL – Marg Spina: always ready with a smile, always ready to help

Coun. Marg Spina

An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

ONE WEEK short of a year ago, on Christmas eve, Kamloops City councilor Marg Spina broke the news on her Facebook page that she was taking an indefinite leave of absence to receive treatment for breast cancer.

“You can be sure I will put up the fight of my life,” she wrote.

And she did, though she ultimately lost that fight this past Friday.

Who can ever forget her courage in returning to one last council meeting in May to announce that her cancer was incurable and that she would have to resign her seat. She made a principled decision to do that instead of continuing her leave of absence because, as she said, “We need a vision for the future and we need passionate people to drive it forward.”

Besides being courageous, Marg was kind, compassionate and endowed with a sunny disposition that made everyone enjoy being around her.

Long before Marg became a City councillor, her genuine caring for those less fortunate naturally led to her involvement in good community causes. She founded the Giant Steps West Therapeutic Society for Autism, was president of the Thompson Crisis and Counselling Centre board, and was executive director of the Kamloops Food Bank.

Getting involved in local politics was a natural extension of her community work, a new level at which she could make things better. She headed up the Southern Interior Local Government Association, which gave her a chance to work on doing something about the doctor shortage, as well as advocating for seniors, youth and the vulnerable.

I never saw her enter a meeting without a smile on her face; she was always in a hurry and always ready to get to work, and was always ready with a hug for anyone she thought needed it.

She was in City Hall for all the right reasons, for an opportunity to contribute.

That’s why Marg Spina will be missed, and remembered with such respect and admiration, by so many.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5254 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Marg Spina: always ready with a smile, always ready to help

  1. Bonnie Pryce // December 19, 2017 at 6:21 AM // Reply

    I first met Marg in my early days as a physiotherapist when she began travelling to Montreal to learn what Giant Steps, a music based program for children on the autism spectrum, could offer. She ultimately brought in this program to Kamloops and it was called Giant Steps West. When I drive by what is now the Chris Rose Therapy Center I think of Marg, her eternal optimism and determination and constant smile. She has left her legacy in this program and her commitment to our fine community. My sincere condolences to her family. She will be missed.

  2. From a few emails exchanged with Marg, I am assured that her body has died but her spirit is alive in a wonderful place for eternity.
    Some day, she will have a wonderful new body that will know no sickness or pain or sorrow.

  3. Mel, please stop saying not surviving cancer is losing. REALLY? There are no winners or losers, think about it. Winners have survivors guilt and losers are LOSERS? Enough! Change the language.No one gets out of here alive. So sorry for Marg and her family, but she did not lose a battle. She was a winner every day of her life!

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