James Baker (far left) sits next to his wife Anita while Mayor-elect Blair Ireland (far right) wishes him well at a retirement party held Oct. 16, 2022 at the Lake Country Museum (Brittany Webster - the Calendar)

James Baker (far left) sits next to his wife Anita while Mayor-elect Blair Ireland (far right) wishes him well at a retirement party held Oct. 16, 2022 at the Lake Country Museum (Brittany Webster - the Calendar)

Retirement starts now after 17-year run as Lake Country mayor

James Baker has been involved in local politics since 1981

The Lake Country Museum and Archives hosted a small gathering Sunday (Oct. 16) to pay tribute to retiring James Baker after 17 years as mayor.

Several local politicians who have worked closely with Baker, along with friends in the community, gathered in the small outdoor space at the museum to enjoy catered food and good conversation to see Baker off.

Mayor-elect Blair Ireland congratulated his former colleague on his retirement.

“I think it’s been said before about his steady hand. I get a little hot under the collar sometimes, that’s no surprise to anybody, but James is up there and he just, it always seems to come back together and it’s smooth and everybody gets along. I don’t have great experience, but looking out and seeing a lot of the other councils around, our council although we sometimes disagree we can get back in the room together and enjoy each other’s company and be respectful. I think respectful is a thing that James really created around that table.”

READ MORE: New mayor for Lake Country

Ireland commented that he has some really big shoes to fill and hopes Baker will still offer a guiding hand when called upon.

Baker sat next to his wife, Anita, while several people spoke to the crowd on the many years of service the couple has put into the community.

Baker is originally from Lytton. He studied at Simon Fraser University, earning a Masters Degree in archeology. In 1974, Baker moved his family to the Okanagan.

Baker has an extensive teaching background, has sat on the regional district board, and played a vital role in the incorporation of Lake Country. He served as a councillor on the very first Lake Country council.

Baker is also well recognized for his support in Indigenous reconciliation.

“I’ve also been asked to stay on the committee that is working with the elders in collaboration with the municipality on the interpretive centre that is going to be built on… Woodsdale Road.”

Baker concluded the small event by thanking everyone who attended, specifically those who have worked alongside him as mayor.

Previously, Baker has said he will look to get back into the field of education in his retirement like volunteering with secondary and post-secondary field trips.

READ MORE: Lake Country Mayor ending 17 year run


@thebrittwebster
brittany.webster@blackpress.ca

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