Fonds - Peter and Mary Lester fonds

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Peter and Mary Lester fonds

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  • 1958-1993 (Creation)
    Lester, Peter

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Physical description

221 photographs + 344 negatives

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Peter James Lester was born in New York on March 26 1920. In 1939, at age 19, he crossed the border at Montreal and enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces before the US had entered the Second World War. During the war years he became a Canadian citizen. He served in various European countries and while overseas, met and married Mary Kelly in 1944 in London, England. After the war Peter moved to Prince Rupert and bought a house. Mary and their two daughters, Margaret (Lorette) and Teresa (Mackereth), joined him in 1946. A son, John, was born in 1949. Peter worked at the mill in the digester, and later bought Philip M. Ray Travel which he eventually turned into Quadra Travel. In 1957 Peter was elected as the mayor of Prince Rupert, a post he kept for 36 years. During this time he was also the manger of the Drifter Inn, which was later renamed Raffles. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and managed the Legion for years. Peter received the Prince Rupert Rotary Club's Paul Harris award and in 1994 was appointed to the Order of British Columbia in recognition of his many years of service to the community. In 2003 also he received the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal for his service to Prince Rupert. Peter passed away on July 18, 2006. In 2007, Prince Rupert's performing arts centre was renamed the Lester Centre of the Arts to recognize the contributions made by both Mary and Peter to the community.

Custodial history

The records were donated to the Archives on June 29, 1998 by the City of Prince Rupert, and by Margaret Lorette on September 5, 2006, April 10, 2008 and June 18, 2008.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records referring to Peter Lester's time as mayor. There is one item of correspondence from the State of Alaska thanking Peter for travelling to Ketchikan for the inauguration of MV Wickersmith in 1968. There are photographs taken between 1958-1992 of trips to China and Japan, the unveiling of the restored Japanese fishing boat Kazu Maru in Prince Rupert's Mariner's Park, the interior of the courthouse and CityWest, city crews, road construction, streets, official openings, presentations and visits by politicians. There are also photographs of the fire hall on Fulton Street, the swimming pool on 2nd Ave., parks, housing, the airport ferry, golf course, ball fields, sawmill, the seaplane base at Seal Cove, Philip M. Ray Insurance and Travel, the Chatham Daycare, RCMP and RCMP ball, a baseball team and Bernice Liu being honoured at a celebration. There is also a photograph of mayor and council when Dr. R.G. Large became Freeman of the City in 1977. There are cassette recordings from interviews on radio with Peter and some of dictated letters from the mayor's office, a diary from 1961, newspaper clippings from 1958-1966, and certificates. It contains a certificate Mary received from the Prince Rupert Community Council and negatives, film cassettes and film indexes that depicting community celebrations and family events such as birthdays, parades, dance recitals, weddings and graduations from 1988 to 1993.

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Includes 1 cm of textual records, 20 audio cassettes and 36 film cassettes

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1998.005; 2006.017; 2008.007; 2008.009

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Created on January 8, 2014

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