Oak Bay's former Mayor Nils Jensen dies after a battle with cancer
Oak Bay's former mayor, councillor, and CRD Board of Director's Chair, Nils Jensen has passed away following a battle with cancer. Though it wasn't sudden, his family, friends, and colleagues are still feeling the loss.
Jensen started his political career as a Councillor in 1988, and in 2011 was elected Mayor, a seat he held for two terms. He also served on the CRD Board of Directors, and was elected Chair of the Board in 2014.
Saanich Councillor, Susan Brice, served on the CRD Board with Jensen, and says he will be remembered as a delightful, reasonable, and forward thinking man.
"When he was at the CRD Water Commission, that's when he really earned wide respect. He was on to pushing water conservation long before it was the norm, and he was really quite a leader in that regard.
She adds his good spirit and humour will be missed, and that they had a funny little joke about how Brice had served as Oak Bay's Mayor as well.
"Even though in the intervening I've had several other different positions, he'd always, with a twinkle in his eye, would always introduce me to people as the 'Former Mayor of Oak Bay.' So I think he considered that a highlight in his life, he must have also assumed it was the pinnacle of my life too."
Oak Bay High's former Principal, Dave Thomson, is also sad to hear about Jensen. The two men met when they were working on the construction of the new high school in 2011.
Thomson says he will miss his positivity, good humour, hard work, and caring and contributions to the community. He says he learned allot from Jensen.
"He really understood the whole concept of 'you fight hard for you're ideals, and fight hard for what you're trying to accomplish, but you recognize at the end of the day that people have differing opinions.' He was very accepting of different opinions, and would always work towards solutions."
Thomson says that all of Jensen's hard work and contributions are a testament to the man's love for his community, adding that the news of his passing hits hard, for not only Jensen's family and friends, but for the whole community.
Jensen served Oak Bay from 1988 to October 2018, when he lost the municipal election to Kevin Murdoch. Murdoch served on Oak Bay Council during Jensen's entire 8 years of being a Mayor, and says he had a very great respect for his predecessor.
"He was a very very capable person, a person who was very focused on serving his community, his whole life really. It's a real shock to see him gone, he had a lot of energy and a lot of life still left to live. It's always hard to see that, people who dedicate their lives to other's benefits, and have a lot left to give when they pass on, it's a hard thing."
He says Jensen was able to get a lot of stuff done while Mayor, and thinks he was probably most proud of jumpstarting the public art program, and initiating the arts lariat.
A service will be held for Jensen at Oak Bay High's Dave Dunnett Theatre on Thursday at 2pm.