09/19/2013 12:35 EDT | Updated 11/19/2013 05:12 EST

Northwestern B.C. district mourns long-time mayor, councillor, Pieter Weeber

NEW HAZELTON, B.C. - The northwestern B.C. District of New Hazelton has lost a long-time mayor, councillor and school trustee.

Pieter Weeber died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 77.

Weeber lived in the Bulkley Valley community for 35 years and, in a final written message, said he knew he would spend the rest of his life in the district about 70 kilometres north of Smithers.

Weeber was mayor of New Hazelton for a total of 17 years over two periods, most recently from 1996 until 2011, and was sitting as a councillor when he died.

Current Mayor Gail Lowry says Weeber's death leaves a tremendous void for the community and the council, noting his knowledge was absolutely phenomenal.

Lowry says council will consider plans for a byelection in the coming weeks. (CFTK)