|Bob Gillespie, November 2011|
It is with great sadness that I share the news that Bob Gillespie is gone.
He died earlier this month of natural causes, with loved ones at his side. Bob was admired by many in the community and this is a great loss for Saanich.
Bob worked as an electrician for 28 years. In 1988 he began his journey into civic politics. He attended many council meetings and decided to run in 1990. After 3 recounts, he was elected by 28 votes.
Bob served 18 years as a Saanich Councilor. During all of this time he served on the water board and spearheaded major changes. Bob was pivotal in raising the Sooke dam. He went on to serve as Deputy Chair of what became CRD Water.
One of his accomplishments was getting a reduced water rate for agriculture. This is a great help to farmers to this day and he will be remembered as a champion of local agriculture.
Accountability was a big issue for Bob. He fought successfully for the direct election of Saanich’s CRD Directors and thus contributed to the strengthening of democracy in our region. Saanich became the first municipality under the Charter to give citizens a direct choice of regional district directors. Victoria and other municipalities now follow the Saanich model.
Even after he retired from council, he stayed active in politics. Affordable housing and rethinking the sewer system were at the top on his list.
Bob made an enduring contribution to Saanich and he will be deeply missed. His family has requested privacy at this time.