As the son of an oil worker, Phil Taylor moved around a lot in his youth. Phil lived in France, England and even Israel, among others, but the place where he has lived the longest is Golden.
“It’s home, it’s nice to be able to walk down the street and see people that you know,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s first (of two) stints in Golden began in 1983 when he was hired by the town as the clerk treasurer. Taylor says it was an exciting time to be working for the town.
“It was an exciting place to come, because the big CPR shops had just been announced. One of the first things I ended up doing was working with CPR and council,” he said.
The coal car repair shop was built south of town and 25 kilometres of track were laid down as part of a $60 million project to move the old tracks that divided the town to their current location.
In 1994, just after his youngest child graduated from high school, he and his wife moved to Grand Forks where he worked as the city manager.
He went on to work as an administrator in both Hope and Harrison Hot Springs over the next ten years before he was offered a job back in Golden in 2004.
“I like small towns,” he said with a smile.
Prior to his retirement in 2010, Taylor was involved in town projects such as the construction of Spirit Square and the rebuilding of the Golden Civic Centre.
Taylor was a charter member when the Rotary Club began operations in Golden in 1984, and has held numerous positions on the executive over the years, including president.
Taylor was involved in a few of the club’s most significant projects, such as the construction of the Rotary Trails and the wheelchair access ramp to the Civic Centre.
Taylor has always been involved in sports in and around town, both as a participant and a fan.
He was an avid downhill skier and he and his wife have travelled to Nice and London, Ont. to attend the World Figure Skating Championships in recent years.
When the 1988 Winter Olympics came to Calgary, Taylor organized a torch run and a small winter festival to celebrate. Everything came full circle in 2010 when Golden became the first community in B.C. to welcome the Olympic torch and Taylor was given a significant role as an emcee.
The Taylors are in the process of selling their house and hope to move closer to their grandkids in Pitt Meadows. Taylor says that they will miss Golden and they plan to come back and visit at least twice a year. There’s just one thing that he says he won’t miss.
“I definitely won’t miss the mosquitoes,” he said with a laugh.