Bob Bishop was member of Whistler’s first council 

Bob Bishop, one of the aldermen on Whistler's first municipal council and the man who developed the Arnold Palmer-designed Whistler Golf Club, died last month in Kelowna. He was 81.

Born Robert Sidney Bishop in Dollarton, near Vancouver, on Oct. 31, 1927, he is survived by wife Eleanor, children Robert, Ken, Garry and Debbie, and four grandchildren.

Bishop was the charter president of both the Squamish and Whistler Rotary Clubs, and Governor of District 5040 in 1988 and 1989. He was particularly involved in Rotary projects in Cebu, Philippines.

But it was his involvement in Squamish and Whistler's early days that marked his career.

Bob Bishop moved to Squamish in the mid-40s, where he met Eleanor. They were married in 1950. He worked in the insurance and real estate businesses in Squamish until 1968, when the family moved to Whistler.

With partner Bernie Brown he developed the Whistler Cay subdivision, including a nine-hole golf course at the north end of the present Whistler Golf Course.

Whistler was at a crossroads at the time the Bishops made their commitment to Whistler. Developments were springing up rapidly and with no local government there was little oversight and very little coordinated planning. This lack of oversight led, in 1973, to the provincial government placing a moratorium on development while a long-range plan to develop a resort community was formulated.

With the incorporation of the municipality in the mid-70s, and the provincial government supporting Whistler's development as an international destination resort, additional land was allocated for the present Palmer-designed golf course, which Bishop developed in conjunction with the Whistler Cay Heights subdivision.

Bishop was also elected to the first Whistler council in September 1975, along with Garry Watson, John Hetherington and the late Pat Carleton, who served as mayor. Al Raine was a provincial appointee to the council.

Bishop served only one term on council, before returning to real estate development.

The Bishops moved to Kelowna in the early 1980s, where they were partners with daughter Debbie and son-in-law John in the Mission Creek Golf Club and Duffers Restaurant.

A Celebration of Life was held in Kelowna Feb. 2. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the B.C. Children's Hospital.

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