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Building inspector retires after 10 years

In 2001, Konrad Jaschke was hired as the temporary building inspector for the newly formed Bowen Island Municipality. "I was hired for three months," Jaschke says. "As of today it is 10 years.

In 2001, Konrad Jaschke was hired as the temporary building inspector for the newly formed Bowen Island Municipality. "I was hired for three months," Jaschke says. "As of today it is 10 years."

When Jaschke began working at BIM, Islands Trust planners were still in place. During his time as building inspector, Jaschke has revised bylaws and changed fee structures, doing his best to make the process of erecting new structures safe and as simple as possible. He has seen many changes in the field since he began with BIM, in particular more strict seismic requirements and building codes and regulations that are increasingly in line with the building of "green" homes and offices.

Safety has always been Jaschke's bottom line. "On Bowen Island most people exceed the minimal safety requirements by far", says the inspector. Good service is also important to Jaschke . He continues, "I basically took the approach to help people rather than hinder them. The whole idea in my mind is to know what is important - especially on an island - and know what doesn't matter."

As Jaschke has been winding down his duties at BIM, Joldine Lee has been preparing to step into his shoes. Lee is a trained architect. She worked for the district of North Vancouver for two years designing small houses and other multi-family buildings and commercial buildings. For the past year, Joldine has given generously of her time to BIM to work side by side with Konrad. ""Once a week for the last year," Jaschke says with a smile, "Joldine has volunteered here in order to learn the job. We really appreciate that. She is doing a fine job."

Lee is excited about taking over the position. "Next year," she says, "there is a new building code coming into place. It will require higher standards for energy efficiency."

Seventy-five-year-old Jaschke has plans for his future. "I have loved my work here but it is time to move on." He has a house in Vancouver and a house on Gabriola Island. "I also bought a motor-bike," he smiles.

For Konrad Jaschke, life at 75 still holds some sizzle.

A gathering will be held at The Bowen Island Pub between 3 and 5pm on Thursday, March 31, to bid Konrad farewell. Sincere thanks go out to Bowen's steadfast, out-going building inspector and best wishes to Joldine Lee, stepping into sizeable, well-worn shoes.

Lorraine Ashdown

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