Winning 2008 Jeanne Clarke Award for Giscome Chronicle
Leading a UNBC field trip to Giscome in 2001
Teaching at the College in the 1970s
Susan Sedgwick accepting the Jeanne Clarke award for Kent, Feb. 26, 2012 (photo courtesy of PG Public Library)
J. Kent Sedgwick (1941-2011)
The College was deeply saddened to learn of Kent Sedgwick's passing on December 6, 2011. Kent was among CNC's first faculty members in 1971/72, teaching geography in the classroom and in the field and inspiring students to view it as an exciting career choice. He went on to become the City Planner in Prince George, and after retiring, continued to contribute to the community as a historical geographer, heritage advisor and author of many local histories. CNC Press is pleased to have published 7 of his recent works, including "Giscome Chronicle" which won the 2008 Jeanne Clarke Memorial Local History Award. A new book, about the Lheidli T'enneh cemetery in Prince George, was in final draft form when Kent passed away. It will be issued by CNC Press in a special commemorative edition in the spring in consultation with Kent's family, to whom we extend heartfelt condolences.
Opinion 250 update, Feb. 27, 2012
This year's recipients of the Jeanne Clarke Award for outstanding contributions to the preservation of local history were honoured at a reception at the Prince George Public Library last night. The Service Award went, posthumously, to Kent Sedgwick who passed away in December. His widow, Susan, accepted this year's plaque. Sedgwick also won the award in 1991 and 2009. The former CNC instructor was a valuable resource to many local historians, as indicated in the acknowledgements of numerous books in the library's local history collection. In addition, the library has renamed the award it presents each year to a deserving student at the district heritage fair the 'Kent Sedgwick Memorial Award for Research' in recognition of Sedgwick's legacy....
Prince George Citizen, Dec. 9, 2011
Sedgwick, John Kent - Kent passed away on Dec. 6, 2011 after a long struggle with cancer. His tragic passing was sudden and unexpected. Kent was born in Weston, Ontario on Mar. 13, 1941. He is survived by his loving wife Susan, his sisters Patti Pinn and Sue Barnes in Ontario and many nieces and nephews. Kent will be keenly missed by his family, many friends, fellow writers and historians. He left a legacy of contributions focusing on the history of the central interior, its land and explorers and on Prince George's past. Kent was never happier than when a new lead turned up to unravel a historical mystery or when he was starting a new research project. He had a wealth of knowledge that he willingly shared with local associations, university and college students. Kent requested there be no funeral service. A gathering in his memory will be held for him at a later date.
Tribute from J. Alistair McVey, a Geography colleague who taught with Kent at CNC
Kent Sedgwick first came to Prince George in August of 1970, when he accepted the position as a Geography Instructor at the College of New Caledonia, following research work with the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. A graduate of both the University of Western Ontario and McMaster University, Kent taught a number of Geography courses during his tenure at the College. He established a reputation for thoughtful teaching and imbued many of his students with an enthusiasm for Geography. Because of a strong background in Physical Geography and his work on Peyto Glacier for the Federal Government, he had a keen interest in field work; although the Central Interior of British Columbia was new to him, he immediately embarked on an extensive series of journeys into the mountains, plateaux and forests around Prince George. After a short while he became familiar with just about every logging road within 250km. Noting the many abandoned logging camps and declining small communities in the region, Kent became fascinated by the settlement patterns that had been created in the early 20th Century.
After teaching at the College of New Caledonia for more than a decade, Kent became a Senior Planner with the City of Prince George where, in addition to other duties, he continued to work on heritage issues as related to the City and its region.
Kent is known for his meticulous research, often spending many hours patiently working in dusty, long-forgotten archives. Within a few years, his extensive knowledge of the history and historical geography of the Central Interior and his willingness to share that knowledge with the community made him one of the most eminent local historians. He played a leading role in the formation of the Local History Society and the Giscome-Portage Heritage Society. Without his energy and commitment, it is unlikely that the Huble Homestead would have developed into the well-developed heritage site which, along with the Giscome Portage Trail, is now part of a Regional Park.
For his extensive efforts to preserve the history of Prince George, Kent Sedgwick was presented with the Jeanne Clarke Memorial Local History Award on February 17, 1991. Since retiring from the City of Prince George, Kent has been a guest lecturer in Geography and History courses at the University of Northern British Columbia. He has published a number of books through CNC Press, including “Giscome Chronicle” which won the 2008 Jeanne Clarke Award. At the time of his untimely death recently, he was completing another book, about the Lheidli T’enneh Cemetery in Prince George, and continuing with his research on the early development of Strathnaver, an agricultural colony established in the northern Cariboo by the Duke of Sutherland in the early 1900s.
Tribute from John Harris (CNC Colleague)
Tribute from Barry McKinnon (CNC Colleague)