Terry Stewart was honoured as a builder and booster during the recent presentation of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement award.
Held on Oct. 23 at Butchart Gardens, the Chamber’s 2014 Crystal Awards saw Stewart, who retired from the Victoria Airport Authority last June, receive the Lifetime Achievement award from a supportive crowd. As media liaison and spokesperson for the airport authority, Stewart was involved in the community on the Saanich Peninsula in many ways and his work was recognized by the business community.
Stewart started with the airport in 1991 and would soon become the wingman of VAA CEO Geoff Dickson. Stewart was noted for his leadership qualities and his role in airport planning and growth over those years.
The VAA was established in 1997, read the presenter, and that saw Stewart occupied with developing airport land. Today, that amounts to approximately $400 million in local economic benefits from the industrial and commercial works taking place on VAA land.
One project — the new hangar and headquarters for the 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron — was worth around $104 million. During Stewart’s tenure with VAA, companies such as Thrifty Foods and Slegg Lumber set up major distribution centres.
Stewart was praised for increasing the airport authority’s involvement with the community over the years. They work closely with other companies like Ramsay Machine Works — which sometimes requires access to the runway to transport their large projects from the shop to Patricia Bay and a waiting barge.
Stewart was a part of the airport’s work with local environmental groups to help restore their portion of Reay and Ten Ten creeks.
It was also noted he helped push for the McTavish Road interchange to help improve traffic flows to and from the airport. Most recently, and right before Stewart’s retirement, VAA contributed a nine kilometre trail — the Flight Path — around the airport for public use.
“Terry did everything to ensure the airport was a good neighbour,” the Chamber stated.
Stewart, for his part, thanked the Chamber for its support — and his family for theirs over the years.