Our Mayor of Terrace

Jack Talstra

Terrace, British Columbia

Starting with Terrace’s history, first we should begin with our Mayor of Terrace, Jack Talstra.

Jacob (Jack) Talstra was born on March 10, 1946 in Paesens, Friesland, Holland. His parents were Douwe (Donald) and Wietske (Winnie) Talstra. Jack came from a family of three children – Epp, Alice and Jack.

Jack is 55 years old and has lived in Terrace since 1953. He grew up on his family’s farm in the horseshoe area. Jack’s father Douwe Talstra was born in January of 1907 in Dokkum, the Netherlands. In June of 1949 Mr. Talstra came to Canada with his family and took up residence in Houston, BC. They later moved to Telkwa and it was here that Jack first started school for Grade 1. After about two and one half years of living in the Bulkley Valley, in 1953 the Talstra family came to Terrace to live.

Mr. Douwe Talstra operated a small farm in what is now the Horseshoe residential area.

In Terrace Jack went to school at the old Riverside School. While he was going to school at Riverside Vesta Douglas, now Freeman of the City of Terrace, a long time and well known teacher, was Jack’s Grade four teacher. Vesta said that Jack was an A – 1 student. He was a quiet, affectionate, and caring student. Later Jack went on to graduate with the class of 1964 from Skeena Junior – High School. Then Jack went on to attend the Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, returned to our province and graduated from the University of British Columbia Law School in 1973. Jack returned to Terrace, articling with local lawyer Cecil Pratt, was called to the bar and became a bona fide lawyer. During the summer months while attending school, Jack would return to work as a truck driver for his brother Epp Talstra who owned Doc’s Cartage.

In Terrace Jack established his own law firm, Talstra and Company and was first elected to Council that same year. Jack then successfully ran for alderman from 1976 to 1981. Jack served as an Alderman for six years. After a brief respite from city council on December 2, 1985, Jack Talstra was sworn in officially as the Mayor of Terrace. He has served for the City of Terrace for twenty two years. Out of those 16 years as the Mayor of Terrace.

Jack and his wife Hilda have five children. All were born in Terrace and attended schools, and grew up in Terrace

Jack and Hilda were married in Terrace at a regular church service on Sunday, March 16, 1975 at the Christian Reformed Church. Jack Talstra now holds the title as the longest serving mayor for the City of Terrace, beating Emil Haugland.

Emil Haugland presenting the key of the Village of Terrace to Mayor Harry Daggett of Prince Rupert at

Official Opening Ceremonies of the Skeena River Highway Sept. 4, 1944.

Emil Haugland served on the Village Commission for twenty four years. He was first elected in 1932. From 1932 to 1942. He served ten years as an Alderman. In 1942 he was elected as Chairman of the Board of Village Commissioner (Mayor)  and served in that capacity until 1956, a total of fourteen years as mayor.

Emil Haugland arrived in Terrace in 1924. After being injured in a logging accident, in 1927 he began his new career as a barber. He owned his own barber shop in Terrace for forty years.

Also in 1927 Emil Haugland married Berta Kells in Prince Rupert, returned to Terrace by train, and lived the rest of their lives in Terrace. They had five children – two sons, Wilfred and George, and three daughters - Dolly, Irene and Pearl. Emil Haugland was named Freeman of Terrace for his contribution to the community in a testimonial ceremony on December 10, 1969, and was the first to be given the distinction of Freeman of Terrace.


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