A wedding photo from Mayor Bill McKay’s Facebook page, published with his permission. FACEBOOK PHOTO

Nanaimo’s mayor gets married

Bill McKay ties the knot with longtime partner Valerie Wilson on Protection Island

Nanaimo’s mayor is now a married man.

Bill McKay married Valerie Wilson at a private ceremony on Protection Island yesterday.

“It was only 12 and a half years in the making,” McKay said with a laugh. “A long courtship.”

McKay said about 60 people attended Wednesday’s wedding and guests were able to watch the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds air demonstration squadron perform above the Nanaimo harbour in the evening. McKay said the wedding was planned to take place on the same day as the Snowbirds. He said guests were encouraged not to bring gifts, but to make donations to the CHILD Foundation, which is the same foundation the Snowbirds’ performance supported.

He said wedding guests were ferried over on whale-watching boats, and said a lot went into organizing the day.

“It was a lot of work to get it there but it was fun,” McKay said. “It was really fun.”

The mayor is now on a short honeymoon, but will be back to work in time for the City of Nanaimo council meeting on Monday, Aug. 13.

Wilson is director of communications and engagement with Vancouver Island Health Authority.

McKay is not the first Nanaimo mayor to get married while in office. Joy Leach, who was mayor from 1990 to 1993, married Dr. Michael Legge in 1992.


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