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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

Brimacombe Wins Top Job

A. Brimacombe received the honour of being the first overseer of the village of Vermilion. Since Vermilion was only a village at the time, it had an overseer but once it became a town later that year, it would have a mayor.

As for Brimacombe, he had been in the area for some time, and lived near Bowtell before Vermilion became the main commercial centre for the area. In his election, he was elected by acclamation.

Harry Bowtell, for whom Bowtell was named, was brought in as the appointed returning officer after the Lt. Governor of Alberta ordered that the new village elect an overseer to manage affairs.

Brimacombe was nominated by H.B. Stephens and that nomination was seconded by Dr. Ryan. With no other names brought forward after one hour, Brimacombe received the top job.

As soon as he won, he was asked to give a speech to the crowd that had gathered. He thanked the people of the village for his election and the honour that they had given him as the first overseer. He stated he would do his best to fulfill his duties to the village. He added that in a multitude of councillors there was safety.

The first councillors were then chosen with H.B. Stephens, Dr. Ryan and Harry Bowtell receiving the positions. At the time, they were called an advisory board, rather than a village council.

The next issue was determining just how much Brimacombe was going to be paid to be overseer. A motion was put forward by Dr. Ryan and approved that Brimacombe receives $100 for his services. That is likely per year, not per month, as adjusted for inflation it would amount to almost $4,000.

The next course of action was to create a single tax to be circulated and a meeting to be called to decide how taxes should be spent.

This was agreed upon by all members and the first village council meeting came to an end.

Contact Craig at craig@canadaehx.com

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Listen to his podcasts Canadian History Ehx, Canada’s Great War, From John to Justin, Pucks and Cups and Canada: A Yearly Journey on all podcast platforms.

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