Councillor helped start some of city’s boldest projects

Family, friends and former colleagues will bid a final farewell on Thanksgiving Monday to a former city councillor who helped lay the groundwork for some of Red Deer’s boldest projects.

Family, friends and former colleagues will bid a final farewell on Thanksgiving Monday to a former city councillor who helped lay the groundwork for some of Red Deer’s boldest projects.

Claybyn Hood, in his 1983 election campaign, spoke of relocating the Canadian Pacific rail line as a vital step in promoting high-speed rail and supported spending $20 million to build a new coliseum at Westerner Park.

He also worked on one of the committees involved in setting up the urban park system.

First elected in 1977, Hood was involved on the policy committee for the Waskasoo Park system from 1981 to 1984.

Its tasks were to help guide council in key areas, including acquiring the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary and Kerry Wood Nature Centre Sites as well as development of the River Bend Golf Course, said city manager Craig Curtis, who was a city planner at the time.

Creating the park was a “huge project” for the city at the time and “not without controversy,” said Curtis.

“(Hood) was always a gentleman and he was a true friend of the environment through the development of Waskasoo Park.”

He was never a radical, but was always steady and worked with the city’s best interests at heart, said retired teacher Larry Pimm, who served on council with Hood.

Pimm said Hood had a favourite saying: “If you keep on snowing, I’ll get the drift.”

In the fall of 1986 he announced that he would not run for a fourth term on council.

Hood and his family were transferred from Regina in 1966 so he could take charge as manager for Canada Trust.

He grasped the reins of leadership in a number of capacities, including a term as president of the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and of the Red Deer Fish and Game Association.

Born in Grenfell, Sask., on July 4, 1922, Hood died on Saturday.

He is survived by his wife Irene and their three children.

A service is set for 11 a.m. on Monday at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 18 Selkirk Blvd. in Red Deer.