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Celebrating Lions Bay's Public Works Team

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

A Tip of the Hat to our Wonderful Works Crew


The recent resignation of seven-year veteran Public Works Manager (PWM) Nai Jaffer was a huge loss to the village and a hard farewell for his team. Still, May is a month of anniversaries for the Works crew, so The Watershed would like to give a shout-out to the excellent, hard-working humans who staff the village Works Yard.


Meet Garth Begley


Garth Begley's time in the village began way back on May 3, 1999, which means he has just begun his 25th year of service to the residents of this community. As the Public Works Foreman, he's responsible for the day-to-day organization and supervision of the team who look after all of the Village’s infrastructure – from the public washrooms to the HVAC system in the office, to the raw water intakes up in the mountains.


Garth has experience in construction, land surveying and gardening. He's managed everthing from daily events to natural disasters, including the 2006 windstorm when dozens of trees came down across roads, homes and bridges, and led to an extended power outage. Garth organized public works staff and volunteers to clear fallen trees from roads, helped restore power to critical facilities, and coordinated with emergency services. After the event, Garth built a sawmill at the Public Works yard and repurposed the fallen logs into wooden structures throughout Lions Bay. In the debris torrent that affected the Village's water supply in 2014, he worked long hours under difficult conditions, manually clearing the intakes until the system could be restored. He and Chief Water Operator Alberto Urrutia constantly monitored water quality and pressure to guarantee safe drinking water for residents.


Despite these challenges, Garth takes great pride in being a part of the community and helping residents to keep the village safe and functional. He spent three years in Lions Bay's Fire Rescue (LBFR), protecting the community from wildfires and other emergencies. His old boss Nai Jaffer, former Public Works Manager for the Village, told The Watershed that he'd "never come across a more dedicated and caring individual in my 30 years in municipal government.”


Thanks, Garth Begley for all you have done – and still do – for the Village of Lions Bay, and congratulations on entering your 25th year of service.


Meet Alberto Urrutia


Alberto Urrutia, the municipality’s Chief Water Operator, started working for the Village in 2003, and has been serving here for 20 years. Born in Mexico, Alberto studied civil engineering at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, and then put his skills to work in construction and industrial flooring before immigrating to Canada in 2002. As Chief Water Operator for Lions Bay, he's required to maintain the high standards of his position through regular training and rigorous examinations with the Environmental Operators Certification Program. He holds Level II Certification in Water Distribution and Level I Certification in Water Treatment. Like Garth, Alberto has volunteered for LBFR, helping to protect the community from wildfires and other emergencies.


Alberto enjoys spending time with his kids and grandkids, and has a passion for history, particularly of ancient civilizations. He also loves music of all kinds and is proud of the more than 1,000-strong selection of songs on his phone. Nai Jaffer, who worked with Alberto for his entire tenure in the village, described Alberto as "a dedicated individual and a gem of an employee."


Thank you, Alberto, for your incredible work ethic and your dedication to the people of Lions Bay for the past twenty years.


Meet Andrew Smethurst

Andrew Smethurst is a newer, but no less valued, member of the Works Crew. Andrew came to Lions Bay in 2021, after having served long-term both for BC Hydro and the City of West Vancouver.


We appreciate the entire dedicated, hard-working members of the Lions Bay Works crew. The Watershed tips a hat to this incredible team, and also extends a word of welcome to former mayor Karl Buhr, who has stepped in as the acting Public Works Manager.



Edited June 21



Got a story to share about our wonderful Works crew? Share it below, or email your thoughts to editor@lionsbaywatershed.ca


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4 Comments


Thank you, Karen, for showcasing these indispensable gentlemen. We certainly appreciate their dedication to our village and their willingness to go the extra mile. A big thank you to all of them.

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Our community is indeed fortunate to have this skilled team of individuals who are dedicated to keeping the Village functioning properly and efficiently. Many thanks and, Alberto, mucho gracias!

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Ekkehard Goetting
Ekkehard Goetting
May 17, 2023

great Karen, to introduce the heart and soul of all the hard work done for us with the people , names and faces behind it !

The all season, great functioning of our infrastructure is greatly appreciated

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Gentlemen, you are the very best! Thank you so very much for your dedication and commitment to the Village. We hope our waves and smiles show you how much you are appreciated!

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