The Town of Comox is commemorating one of its mayors with the highest honour they can give.
Comox council says they have given the Freedom of the Town to mayor Russ Arnott. Arnott received the honour at a special council meeting on Wednesday with members of his family and friends present.
Arnott has lived in Comox for 26 years where he raised his family and served as a member of the council in 2008, again in 2014 and then he was elected as mayor in 2018.
He also served in the federal public service with the Canadian Coast Guard for 26 years. He spent the last nine years with the CFB Comox Housing Agency finding housing solutions for military members and their families.
The town says the tradition of granting the Freedom of the Town to an individual or military unit goes back more than three centuries.
“We are humbled to give Mayor Russ Arnott this highest honour to show him our sincere appreciation for his fine efforts in the many activities and achievements in our community,” said acting mayor Maureen Swift.
“It is a blessing to have the current council, and close family and friends with us to celebrate his accomplishments to public service and to the community.”
After spending 11 years on council, Arnott is not running again for mayor, citing health reasons.
“I’ve had a great run these past four years (11 altogether as councillor) and cherished every moment serving you but life has very recently thrown me a curveball that I did not see coming,” wrote Arnott in a Facebook post in September.
Comox mayor-elect Nicole Minions will take his place after the Oct. 15 election.