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Political leaders, colleagues, friends remember Bill Reid

Warm tributes are pouring in for Bill Reid, former MLA, tourism minister, and community leader who has passed away at 78.
Bill Reid

Surrey's Bill Reid passed away Tuesday night after a valiant struggle with cancer.

Warm tributes to the former MLA, tourism minister, Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce representative and community leader, who was 78, are coming in from friends and colleagues from Surrey and his beloved home province to as far away as Ottawa.

Here's a sample:

"British Columbia lost one of its most passionate promoters with the passing of Bill Reid. He had an unparalleled love for his province and was Minister of Tourism during Expo 86. He fully embraced the opportunity to tell the world what an incredible place British Columbia is. Bill served eight years as an MLA and left his mark in many ways, including his incredible graciousness to everyone he met. His contributions didn't stop after he left office. Bill was a constant support for a variety of groups across Surrey – always willing to do his part to make his community better. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill's family. We thank them for sharing him with British Columbia. – Premier Christy Clark

"He made an invaluable contribution to both the community of Surrey and the province as a whole. As tourism minister, Bill helped put B.C. on the map durring Expo 86. He was equally passionate and committed to promoting the communities of Surrey, White Rock and Cloverdale. On behalf of the New Democrat caucus, I wish to extend our condolences to Mr. Reid's immediate and extended family, and friends. " – New Democrat leader Adrian Dix

"It was with sadness I learned of Bill Reid's passing today. Bill, 'Mr. Cloverdale', was a pillar of our city. He stood at the very centre of the business, social and political life of our community." – White Rock-Surrey-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert

"So sad to hear about the passing of Bill Reid. All my thoughts and prayers to the family." – Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts (on Twitter)

"Bill Reid’s passion for the community of Cloverdale and for the City of Surrey was outstanding and will not be forgotten. He has given thousands of voluntary time to various community endeavors and is a role model for everyone in the community. He has been an inspiration to all those who have worked with him to go above and beyond their normal course of duty to the citizens in the area. He will be missed by all those who have had the privilege of working with him.” … On behalf of the Surrey RCMP, I would like to express our deepest condolences to Bills wife Marion, their daughters, son-in-laws, grandchildren and extended family." – Surrey RCMP Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy

"He was Mr. Rodeo, Mr. Cloverdale, he was Mr. Peace Arch Crossing – he was everywhere… He had his hand in every corner of this city… we’re going to miss that smile." – Linda Hepner, Surrey City council

"We were all blessed by Bill Reid’s presence. 'He taught us how to dream, and how to make dreams come true!' Thank you Marion Reid and family for sharing Bill with us. – Paul Orazietti, Cloverdale Business Improvement Association

"Bill Reid was the heart and soul of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and worked tirelessly for 12 years as Executive Director. Around the board table and particularly at the microphone, Bill's upbeat attitude and constant smile was an inspiration to us all. He believed in community involvement and tirelessly and constantly involved his many friends and acquaintances in Cloverdale events and Surrey fundraisers. His enthusiasm and generosity was legend and everyone enjoyed working with him simply because he was fun to be around... Bill was a leader, a mentor, and a very good friend to all of us. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his wife Marion, his four daughters and their families. It is with heartfelt sadness we face the loss of our friend and Executive Director." – Addison Hubert, president, Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce

"Bill Reid was a wonderful friend and mentor both @bcchamberofcom and Spirit of BC. A true gentleman." – Ed Gavsie, Tourism Richmond (on Twitter)

"Bill Reid was a good community man. If you live in Cloverdale chances are you have crossed paths with Bill Reid." –  Stephanie Barrett

"Bill loved Surrey. He loved it. Surrey was everything to him. He leaves a void." – Ben Wevers, Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce

"Bill Reid leaves behind a tremendous legacy of tenacity, dedication, and good humour. Truly a loss for the Chamber network and all of B.C." – B.C. Chamber of Commerce (on Twitter)

"The Surrey heritage community, Cloverdale, and Surrey itself, has lost a very dear friend: Bill Reid 1934-2013." – Surrey Archives (on Twitter)

"Bill Reid was a friend, mentor, loyal supporter, sounding board, great dad, and husband. His contributions to BC were special. I miss him." – Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman

"My condolences to the family of Bill Reid, our city has lost a true hero! We will all miss you!" – Dave Hayer, former MLA Surrey-Tynehead (on Twitter)

"We at Frontline will remember Bill Reid, Mr. Cloverdale, for getting in the corners and grinding it out to make things happen for the betterment of Cloverdale and Surrey. His drive, determination and kind heart were and will remain an inspiration to us. Thank you for all your help and guidance when we relocated our business from Vancouver to Surrey. You will be missed." – Frontline Real Estate

"Bill had a way of making you feel that, at that moment, you were the most important person in his world. I first met Bill in the mid 1960s, when he and my dad were both members of the Kinsmen Club. Little did I know that, decades later, Bill would play an important role in my life, as a mentor. When talking with students, about the benefits of volunteering, I would use Bill as an example. Throughout my years as a high school administrator in Cloverdale, Bill was my 'go to' guy, when it came to seeking support for high school projects and activities. Everything from supplying 'I Love Surrey' pins for visiting Japanese students to pushing for more playing fields in Cloverdale, I could count on Bill to champion the cause. The phrase 'pillar of the community' described Bill to a T. The support and strength that Bill brought to Cloverdale will most certainly be missed. I know that the reality is that when someone passes away, life goes on. For those of us who considered Bill a friend, that life just won’t be the same." – Rick Hugh, former vice-principal of Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary and life-long resident of Cloverdale.

If you have memories you'd like to share about Bill Reid, please email We'd love to share them with our readers. – Jennifer Lang, editor.Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook.

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