Community members are mourning the death of a man who was passionate about heritage and his community.
Steve North, who served on the Queen’s Park Residents’ Association and the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society, passed away on Nov. 3 at the age of 63.
“Steve was always so pleasant to be around, and when you left him you went away feeling happier or lighter. He was one of a kind, and we were so fortunate to call him a friend. He had left a big hole in the lives of those who knew him well,” said Kathleen Langstroth, past QPRA president and a former director with the heritage preservation society. “His optimism touched so many people whether it be in business and in the heritage community. He had such hope and love for the city he called home.”
A write-up by Jill Davy on the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society website stated North had a passion for New Westminster and the important work of heritage preservation. He and his wife Gail opened the door to their historic Arthur Davis house (their “work in progress”) many times through the years in support of the heritage homes tours.
North served on the board of directors for both the Queen’s Park Residents’ Association and the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society, being elected NWHPS president in 2017.
“It was a role he relished. He sincerely believed that protecting our heritage resources provides present and future benefit to all residents of the City of New Westminster. He was proud to be part of a group that could help foster and promote these ideals,” wrote Davy, a director with the NWHPS. “A highlight for him as president was presiding over the NWHPS 40th annual homes tour in 2019. He coordinated all the moving parts, inspiring the directors as they planned the celebration of four decades of homes tours.”
In 2014, North volunteered to serve on the city’s heritage study working group, which helped the city implement the Queen’s Park heritage conservation area in 2017.
“Steve was always supportive of promoting heritage in the community and led by doing the essential things like sitting on committees, meeting with city councillors and staff, encouraging heritage policy to city council and the community, selling homes tour tickets at his business, and always being optimistic about the future,” said Maureen Arvanitidis, a director and past president of the heritage preservation society. “He will be greatly missed.”
North was the owner of Royal City Colours in New Westminster and Annacis Commercial Paints on Annacis Island in Delta.
“Steve had a real passion for heritage, from his work location, to his home and his desire to preserve the past in New Westminster through committee work and presentations to council,” said Deane Gurney, vice-president of the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society. “His participation within the community will be missed, and I am sure he would wish his example of preservation will be followed by others.”