Gillian Trumper, a former politician and community leader from Port Alberni, passed away Friday evening at the age of 83.

Trumper was elected mayor of Port Alberni in 1983 and served in that capacity for a record-setting 18 years until 2001, the longest any single person has held the office.

Trumper then moved into provincial politics and was elected MLA for Alberni-Qualicum and served as the Chair of the Legislative Standing Committee for Aboriginal Affairs.

Prior to entering her political career, Trumper was a registered nurse and moved to the Alberni Valley with her family in 1969.

Trumper also served as the City Coroner and the President of the Union of BC Municipalities.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, current Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions called Trumper “a great leader” and credited her as an inspiration for young women entering politics.

“Gillian contributed an incredible amount to our community and the lives of the people who live in it,” said Minions. “She was one of the first people to suggest I should run for council and when I decided to run for Mayor she was the first signature on my nomination papers. I have no doubt Gillian influenced many more young women and leaders in our community well beyond her time in elected office.”

A memorial service for Gillian Trumper is planned on November 8 at 2 p.m., at Italian Hall in Port Alberni.

Tim Ford