Kent mayor Sylvia Pranger (left) and widow of Kent’s former CAO Anthea Lewis (right) scoop a ceremonial shovel of dirt on a commemorative tree for the late Tony Lewis. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Kent honours late CAO with tree planting

Tony Lewis passed away in 2007, seven months before his retirement from the position

On Thursday (April 18), the District of Kent honoured one of its past employees with a ceremonial planting.

Tony Lewis, the former CAO of the District of Kent, passed away in September of 2007, seven months before he was set to retire from the position. Lewis had been an employee of the district since the early ’90s, taking on the CAO position.

“When we came down here, he was wearing three hats,” Anthea Lewis said about her late-husband. “So they ended up calling him the CAO.”

For the next 15 years, Tony Lewis brought his accounting skills to the district, making sure the district was financially stable.

For mayor Sylvia Pranger, who was mayor during the time Lewis was CAO, that will be his enduring legacy.

“He was a quiet man, unassuming person,” she said. “He loved his work, you could tell he loved his work.”

“He left the district in good financial shape,” she continued. “He made sure of that, and I think that was one of his legacies. He always made sure there was sufficient funds to keep things going properly.”

The district has made sure Lewis has other legacies at municipal hall as well. A commemorative bench was placed in front of the hall, and on Thursday (April 18) dozens gathered in the rain to see the planting of a flowering tree in Lewis’ honour.

After the planting, guests went inside to the council chambers for tea and a chance to share their memories of Lewis.

“He was very quiet, so it was hard for people to know the man behind the figure,” Anthea Lewis said. “But he had a really brilliant English sense of humor — he loved watching Monty Python.”

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