Born in New York, Peter Lester adopted Prince Rupert as his home when the end of the Second World War saw him serving with the American Army.
Fortunately for Prince Rupert, he decided to stay. Since 1946 he has pursued a multi-faceted career that included being a construction worker, customs officer and union president and since 1981 owner-manager of a travel agency. Elected as a council member in 1955, he then went on to become mayor in 1958.
Thirty-five years later he retired from that post, having won re-election every two years since – a record length of terms for British Columbia and second to only one other in Canada.
This impressive legacy of community leadership is in itself a testimony to Peter Lester’s popularity with the people. During 3½ decades of public service, his innovative ways were instrumental in many key events in the city’s history.
These include the building of a modern hospital and having Prince Rupert designated the southern terminus of the Alaska Marine Highway, a huge boost to the tourism industry resulting in thousands of tourists visiting the city en route to Alaska.
Peter Lester’s history of commitment to his community sets more than a record for the province – it sets a fine example for others to follow.