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Port Moody lowers flags in remembrance of a tireless heritage advocate

City issues statement on Mary Anne Cooper and her efforts to promote a heritage conservation area for Ioco Townsite.
A drive-by party was held for Mary Anne Cooper in 2020. She passed away this. past weekend and the City of Port Moody will be lowering flags in her honour.

Flags have been lowered at Port Moody city hall and the Inlet Centre Fire Hall in honour of Mary Anne Cooper, long-serving community leader and Freedom of the City award recipient.

Cooper, who recently celebrated her 107th birthday on Oct. 30, passed away on the weekend. 

“Dr. Cooper will be greatly missed by all who knew her,” said Mayor Rob Vagramov. 

“Her dedication to heritage conservation cannot be understated and her passionate advocacy for the protection of Port Moody’s key historical landmarks has benefited our residents and community as a whole.”

In a release, the city described Cooper as the driving force behind the achievement of heritage conservation area status for the Ioco Townsite, which stands as one of few surviving early company towns in the Lower Mainland and is recognized as a heritage conservation area.

A heritage conservation area is a distinct area with special heritage value identified for conservation in the City’s Official Community Plan.

Cooper was also integral in establishing Ioco Ghost Town Days, an annual event that celebrates the history of the Ioco Townsite and promotes the importance of heritage conservation in Port Moody.

She served as a member of the City’s Heritage Commission for seven years and has also served on the board for the Port Moody Heritage Society.

As well, Cooper was honoured with numerous awards including:

  • City of Port Moody Freedom of the City Award in 2011 for her years of service to the community in the areas of heritage celebration and conservation as well as environmental protection;
  • City of Port Moody Heritage Award in 2011 (co-recipient with the Port Moody Heritage Society) for her work organizing Ioco Ghost Town Day celebrations;
  • Heritage BC Ruby Nobbs Award in 2011 for heritage advocacy; and
  •  BC Achievement Foundation Community Award in 2020 for her efforts to raise awareness of the need to preserve and celebrate Port Moody’s heritage, protect its green spaces, and reduce the challenges faced by older adults. 

"The city is grateful to Dr. Cooper for her meaningful and long-lasting contributions to our community and offers the deepest condolences to her family and friends during this difficult time; the flags at Port Moody City Hall and the Inlet Centre Firehall will be at half-mast in her honour," the release further stated.

The Spirit of Port Moody, a documentary film by Producer/Director Eva Wunderman, featuring Mary Anne Cooper will be screened at the Inlet Theatre on Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m..

For more information and tickets visit the documentary's page on Eventbrite.