Coldstream’s Peter Tassie was an engineer by trade; he is a civic-minded conservationist at heart.
Tassie, the long-term planner for the Regional District of the North Okanagan, was honoured with the Community Service Award by the B.C. Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists.
The prestigious award was presented to the 85-year-old at the association’s President’s Awards Gala at the Victoria Conference Centre in late October. It was presented by outgoing president Jeff Holm.
“It was a bit overwhelming to me,” said Tassie, who retired in 1992 after more than 20 year’s service with the regional district.
“The engineers, they do a very good job of running the event and they did a video on me. They handled that very well. It was an enjoyable event.”
Tassie was, and still is, involved with countless conservation and heritage groups in the North Okanagan. What made him truly effective in these roles was his understanding of how bureaucracy works.
“If you’re associated with those groups, you find they often don’t know how the system works when you’re dealing with local government,” said Tassie. “Having that sort of knowledge was a help. It came quite naturally to me.”
Some of the groups Tassie has worked with over the years include: O’Keefe Ranch, Ribbons of Green Society, Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, North Okanagan Parks and Natural Area Trust, Abbeyfield Houses Society, Okanagan Historical Society and North Okanagan Cross-Country Ski Club (now Sovereign Lake Nordic Club).
His nomination for the Community Service Award was led by Mike Nolan, who worked with Tassie for many years in the North Okanagan.
“The thing that impressed me was being recognized by your peers,” said Tassie.
“That gives you some sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that those guys that worked with you recognized you did something noteworthy. It’s not as if it was handed down from above. It means much more.”
Tassie originally graduated in civil engineering from the University of B.C. in 1950, and later went back to school to earn his town planning credentials in 1970. He and wife Libby (Elizabeth) have been married 57 years and have four children.
Meanwhile, Vernon’s Arnold Badke was elected for a two-year councillor position at the engineer association’s 93rd annual AGM, in Victoria. Coldstream’s Mike Waberski earned the role of government appointee.