Not everybody agreed with Cliff Annable.
The influential community booster was a man of strong opinions and he wasn’t particularly shy about expressing them.
When he was on White Rock council in the early 2000s, a dispute over city paving escalated from the verbal to the physical. A fellow councillor was accused of stabbing him with a pen. She only admitted to slapping his face during the in-camera altercation. Charges of assault were ultimately stayed.
But one thing about Cliff Annable can’t be argued: he was a man passionately committed to his community. Even if you were one of those who disagreed with his vision of how the city should be run, you had to allow that he was a man prepared to act generously, and selflessly, in support of worthy community causes.
Though he butted heads with opponents, and could be fiercely partisan on certain issues, he strove to prove he could be courteous and even, on occasion, showed he was capable of changing his mind.
Annable’s untimely departure from the scene is an indisputable loss to the community – one that has left his many friends reeling, along with many others who’d come to appreciate his individual brand of humorous bonhomie over the years.
The day he died, he’d been expected to attend the first meeting of a group of city movers-and-shakers planning to fundraise for repairs to the iconic pier damaged in December’s storm.
He never arrived at the meeting – but members of the new committee made a note to follow up with him. It was only natural to expect him, even to count on him, to be part of such a venture. It’s the kind of project that would have had Cliff Annable’s name all over it.
His contributions to community organizations, including the Semiahmoo Rotary and the South Surrey Chamber of Commerce, have been well-chronicled, but they are also the stuff of legend.
So, too, was the man himself – a larger-than-life character always ready with a friendly greeting, a quip, a slap on the back or a simple gesture of generosity. Once met he was never forgotten.
Our community has been built by such characters. Over the past decade or so, we have lost far too many of them, far too soon.
We extend our condolences to his family, and many others in the community who mourn his loss.