It was the afternoon of April 26 and the end of an era.
After 17 years as Bowen Island's building inspector, Konrad Jaschke retired.
A sizable crowd of tradespeople, homeowners and builders were on hand to pay tribute to this cheerful, modest man who has guided construction on Bowen Island respecting the building code's requirements, but always finding ways to overcome obstacles.
Nowadays, a builder/contractor has to be a well-trained, government-certified craftsman, an insured business person, and know the contents of the two-and-a-half-inch thick, constantly updated building code. Between that and architects, engineers, environmental consultants, planners, bankers/financiers, crew, weather, sub-trades and delivery problems, the contractor's burden is considerably eased if the building inspector finds ways to even out problems staying within the code.
Konrad Jaschke was one of those building inspectors.
Jaschke came to this job as an experienced tradesperson. After getting schooling and some business experience in Germany, he arrived in Canada in 1964 and retrained. He was soon in business for himself, and then became qualified as a building inspector.
In 1982 Jaschke was hired by the City of North Vancouver. A couple decades later, he came to Bowen in 2001, temporarily replacing the departing inspector. However, after his contract expired he was encouraged to stay on. In 2011 Konrad left for a while, but was asked to return.
His wife's death in 2008 tore painfully into Jaschke’s life and gradually Bowen Islanders became his family.
Without compromising his position, Konrad gained the trust and respect of contractors.
During his years as the island’s inspector, the building permits issued amounted to $194.6 million with direct revenue of more than $15 million to the municipality.
We shall miss his friendly greeting and keen eye. But at over eighty he deserves retirement.
Thank you, Konrad, for all those years of guidance. You are a hard act to follow!