Legendary former mayor George Ferguson dies at age 91

Ferguson hailed as 'Prince of a Man' who led Abbotsford for more than three decades.

Former Abbotsford mayor George Ferguson is shown here on his farm in 2009.

George Ferguson, an Abbotsford political legend who served as mayor for more than three decades, died last night at the age of 91.

He died “peacefully at his home,” according to local lawyer, and Ferguson’s friend, Douglas MacAdams.

Ferguson began his career in local politics in 1969 as an alderman, serving three years before being elected mayor in 1972 for what was then the district of Abbotsford.

He was still in that role in 1995, when Abbotsford amalgamated with the community of Matsqui to become the new City of Abbotsford, and retained that position until 2002, when he was defeated in an election – by Mary Reeves – for the first time.

Ferguson was re-elected as mayor in 2005 and retired in December 2008 – the same year his daughter, Catherine Ferguson, was elected mayor of White Rock, a position she held for one term before deciding not to seek re-election.

In addition to his work in local politics, Ferguson also served as the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), and as a soldier during the Second World War.

He received the Order of Abbotsford in June 2011 and was also chosen as the city’s Citizen of the Year.

Former Abbotsford Mayor George Peary said Ferguson was “an uncanny politician” and a “prince of a man.”

A funeral is expected to be held on March 18.

Watch Friday’s Abbotsford News for much more.