On April 13, 2022 Jim Hume passed away. He was an extraordinary, and longest-serving member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly Press Gallery.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to honour the memory of Mr. Hume.
This was prepared by Stephen Hume. Jim Hume surrendered his seat in the press gallery for the first time in half a century when he died April 13 at the age of 98.
It’s astonishing to think that Jim began writing about who governs British Columbia, about how we govern and about why we do what we do before most members of our present Legislative Assembly were even born. He was here before the vote was fully extended to women or to religious minorities. He covered the election of the first Indigenous man as MLA and, 67 years later, the first Indigenous woman. He saw the elections of the first black men and women, the first Indo-Canadian, the first province’s woman Premier, the first Indo-Canadian Premier, the first Social Credit government, the first NDP Government, the first Greens. In all, he covered 21 parliaments.
Jim came to British Columbia in 1948. He arrived on the train to reach the west coast after the terrible floods of that year in the Fraser Valley. He was 24 years old with a wife, a toddler of 18 months and a second child due in six weeks. When he first arrived in Victoria, although he had papers as a precision machinist, the only work he found was driving this city’s garbage scow from the Inner Harbour, past the Legislature Buildings and out to sea to dump the overnight refuse.
He later came to the building to work in the building. “Same job, different location,” he liked to quip, but that was a joke. He loved the work and took it seriously. He loved the Legislature and respected it. He loved the province with all his heart.