The sun was shining and the air was brisk during an emotional gathering outside Regina City Hall on Saturday morning.
Councillors passed around hugs and handshakes, a few shed tears, before talking about their late colleague Terry Hincks.
Hincks, who was a councillor for Ward 9 since 2003, died Friday night after a long battle with cancer.
“This is a real tragic loss for our family, our friends and the city. Words can’t really describe our sense of loss,” said incumbent mayor Michael Fougere as councillors crowded behind him.
Fougere touted Hinck’s dignity and strength throughout the councillor’s fight against cancer.
“He had tremendous physical strength and strong spirit. To those who know him, it truly was an honour and a pleasure to serve with him on his time on council,” he said.
“His heart was as big as Regina.”
Hincks was remembered as passionate and emotional. Fougere noted people always knew where the councillor stood on an issue.
“When we talked on council he would be bellowing away about his view on things, but he would say, ‘I understand why we’re doing things,’ and he had a very good vision.”
What struck Fougere the most was Hincks’ passion for the new Mosaic Stadium.
“When we had the unveiling of the new stadium a few years ago … he was so happy that the stadium was going forward, and he said, ‘I want to be here when the stadium’s open, I want to make it to when the stadium opens.'”
Councillors also stepped up to the podium to share stories about Hincks. Wade Murray was first elected to city council in 2003, the same year as Hincks.
“He loved the community, he loved the people, he loved this council. We’re so fortunate we had the opportunity to spend time with him,” Murray said.
Compliments and admiration poured out of Murray’s speech about the late councillor. While Hincks represented Ward 9, he grew up in Murray’s ward and often went back to his roots.
Murray specifically recalled a day ten years ago when they took several kids from the community to the beach in Buena Vista.
“All those kids hopping into his boat – you couldn’t have gotten a bigger smile on ’em,” Murray said, adding it was always special to hear Hincks’ laugh.
Hincks was running for re-election in Ward 9 in the civic vote on Oct. 26. Murray said whoever does get elected there will have huge shoes to fill.