Whistler Blog

Former Squamish Mayor Egon Tobus’s passing

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Egon Tobus, who served as mayor of Squamish for seven years in the late 1980s and early ’90s and as a vocal member of town council before that, passed away on January 30th. Former Mayor of Squamish Born in Berlin just before the Second World War, Tobus was sent to live in an orphanage for the first years of his life before being brought back home by his biological parents after the war ended. Tobus took up boxing as a young man and fought professionally in Germany, competing in over  50 professional fights before retiring from the ring. In his mid-twenties and looking to move forward in his life, Tobus decided to emigrate. Legend has it that he decided on his new destination by closing his eyes and putting his finger down on a map. Where did his finger land? Canada. And so in late 1959, Tobus packed up and made his way to North America – and then across the continent to the West Coast. Not long after moving to Canada, Tobus met the woman who was to be his wife of 50 years, Maria. He was recruited to work at the Woodfibre pulp mill just outside of Squamish as a trained sheet-metal mechanic. Maria and Tobus and their children lived for several years in the company town site before moving into Squamish proper. Tobus was an active community member. He served two terms as mayor, 1985-1988 and 1991-1993 as well as serving as a councillor. Despite his hardscrabble upbringing, Tobus was a gentle, thoughtful man and a loving husband, father and grandfather, says his daughter Donna Newell. “The thing I can’t get over is that as much as he went through as a young person, he never held anger against people,” Newell said. “My father taught me integrity, honesty and hard work. He was a good, good man.” In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Squamish Hospital Foundation