Peter Witherly smiles while directing the Prince Rupert Community Band during the tree lighting ceremony in December 2017. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

LETTER: An exceptional donation for the exceptional Peter Witherly

Prince Rupert Special Events Society is making a donation to the community music studio

Dear Editor:

The untimely loss this winter of Peter Witherly (whose life and legacy are described in your article “Peter Witherly was Prince Rupert’s Melody” of February 24th) has prompted the Prince Rupert Special Events Society to join many other community organizations in making a donation to the community music studio named in his honour.

Because our group is itself supported through corporate and individual gifts, this is an exceptional situation. Yet Peter’s contribution to our city and region was, in a word, exceptional. Therefore our decision is guided by his example and character — a character distinguished by forthrightness, creativity and generosity.

READ MORE: Peter Witherly was Prince Rupert’s melody

Peter was a consistent contributor to the festivals organized by the Special Events Society. His leadership of bands, choirs and ensembles was like gravity. Carolling crowds were drawn to the music he led under the trees and steeples of Winterfest. At Seafest, his momentum was unmatchable — wrangling performers, securing music stands, and “counting in” the players with inimitable style. Canada Day concerts and countless others revolved around the call of his trumpet, the beat of his baton. Peter the educator, the musician and the volunteer seemed like a fundamental and constant law of nature.

Now, though bereaved by his absence, we see even more clearly the power of such a life to shape others. It was Peter’s desire that full funding of the music studio project be achieved, establishing a top-quality locus for music education. We are honoured to play a small part in realizing his goal, and urge other groups and individuals to do likewise. In that studio, or whenever his fellow citizens unite in harmonious purpose, we are part of Peter Witherly’s masterwork.

Board of Directors

Prince Rupert Special Events Society

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