Archives and Special Collections
Fonds F0079 - J Rodney Sykes fonds.
CA ACU SPC F0079
J Rodney Sykes fonds.
- 1921, 1956, 1964-1989, 1994 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
34.43 m of textual records and photographs
Name of creator
James Rodney Winter Sykes was born in 1929 in Montreal, Quebec but was raised primarily in Victoria, B.C. He attended Victoria College and Sir George Williams University, located in Montreal. Mr. Sykes began his career as a chartered accountant, working out of both Vancouver and Montreal where he met his wife, Gisele. As an acountant, he has worked for Price Waterhouse and Company and, following his move to Calgary, Canadian Pacific Investments Ltd. With the latter company, Mr. Sykes organized Marathon Realty which later became a successful investment and development firm. Mr. Sykes' decision to run for mayor came from his belief that the city government could and should have been managed better. In a short amount of time, he resigned his job, ran for and was elected Mayor with an admirable majority. He officially took office on October 28th, 1969. Mr. Sykes' eight-year tenure as Mayor was marked by a noticeable change concerning the duties of the head Calgarian, catering much more to the citizens and "opening up" City Hall to the public. Under his leadership, Calgary made improvements in the areas of transportation, housing, public participation, and enjoyed general prosperity. Mr. Sykes' mayorship was also known for the friction often experienced between himself and his council members. Mr. Sykes was re-elected in 1971 and 1974 but chose not to run for a fourth term in 1977. In 1980 he became leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party, a position he later abdicated in 1982. In 1984, Mr. Sykes ran for a Liberal seat, lost and retired from politics altogether. Mr. Sykes still resides in Calgary with his wife. He is father to five and grandfather to 10. He continued to maintain an interest in property development and has written a regular column for the Calgary Sun.
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Scope and content
Fonds consists of records created and collected during Mr. Sykes' three terms as Mayor of the City of Calgary, personal files accumulated during his seven years in City Hall, consulting records after his term in office, publications and other material. In 1975, the Mayor's role was defined as: political, in which the Mayor acts as chairman of City Council and as facilitator to citizens' issues; administrative, in which the Mayor contributes to policies and program implementation; and ceremonial, where the Mayor represents the City at all ceremonial functions and assemblies. The fonds is divided into eight series including: (I) Political records, 1969-1978; (II) Administrative records, 1921, 1959-1960, 1963-1985, 1994; (III) Ceremonial records, 1969-1988; (IV) Personal, 1963, 1968-1984; (V) Press clippings, 1969-1977, (VI)Consulting records, 1973-1989; (VII) Publications, 1964-1985; and (VIII) Husky Tower records, 1967, 1996. Series I, II, III, IV and VI have been further subdivided due to the extent and nature of the records they contain.
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Conditions governing access
Some files are temporarily closed due to sensitive information contained in them.
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