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Anmore's first mayor remembered as 'kind, caring man' who 'loved everything the village represented'

Hal Weinberg and his wife helped incorporate Anmore as an independent village in 1987.
Hal Weinberg relaxes at his Anmore home where he lived since the 1970s and served as the village's first mayor for 22 years. Weinberg died last week after a brief illness.

The flag at Anmore’s new Community Hub civic facility is flying at half staff to remember the village’s first mayor.

Hal Weinberg died last week at 90 years old.

Weinberg, a renowned neurophysiologist who was among the first Faculty at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby when it opened in 1965, moved to Anmore in the 1970s.

Then it was still an unincorporated rural area without water services nor a transit connection to the rest of Metro Vancouver.

Weinberg became its Area Director and, in 1987, he and his wife, Linda, teamed up with fellow Anmore residents, Greenpeace founder Bob Hunter and his wife, Bobbi, to incorporate the community as a municipality and independent village.

Weinberg was acclaimed as Anmore’s first mayor and held the position until 2009. During that time he served on several regional committees, including Metro Vancouver’s water committee, and he was chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District’s parks committee.

As an elected official, Weinberg helped bring water service to Anmore, as well as transit and a paved sidewalk along Sunnyside.

In a 1987 newspaper article, Weinberg said Anmore’s residents just wanted a minimum of services to support their idyllic, rural lifestyle.

“People are mainly concerned about maintaining a small budget without getting into debt,” he said.

“Hal’s vision was to preserve Anmore as a small rural place where people could continue living relatively freely,” said a statement on the village’s website.

“He loved Anmore and everything it represented.”

In 2013, Weinberg received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to building British Columbia.

The following year, Weinberg’s service to his community, along with his achievements in brain research at SFU, were recognized when he was awarded an Order of B.C. by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

During his tenure at SFU, Weinberg set up the university’s brain behaviour lab and he was the director of the university’s office of research ethics fro 15 years. He retired in 2012 and was named a Professor Emeritus.

Away from campus, Weinberg served on the Board of Directors of the Down’s Syndrome Research Foundation for 13 years and he was scientific director at the Pacific Orca Society for 46 years.

Dawn McKenna, who worked closely with Weinberg when she was the executive director at DSRF, said he “was a very kind and caring man. He was passionate about his work and he tried to make a difference.”

A $1,000 scholarship in Weinberg’s name is presented annually to a graduating Anmore high school student headed to post-secondary studies.

The village said a gathering to celebrate Weinberg’s life will be held “in the near future.”