CRD vice chair Rebecca Mersereau, left, awards Tahlia Cook the inaugural Nils Jensen Memorial Bursary Award alongside the late mayor’s son Nicholas Jensen and widow Jean Thomson. (Courtesy CRD)

CRD vice chair Rebecca Mersereau, left, awards Tahlia Cook the inaugural Nils Jensen Memorial Bursary Award alongside the late mayor’s son Nicholas Jensen and widow Jean Thomson. (Courtesy CRD)

Environment, water security at the heart of Nils Jensen memorial bursary

Late Oak Bay mayor led regional water commission for 12 years

A student in the Saanich School District is the first recipient of the Capital Regional District’s Nils Jensen Memorial Bursary.

Tahlia Cook earned the inaugural award of $2,500 in honour of the late Oak Bay resident who died in April 2019 after a short battle with cancer.

“Nils had a passion for environmental protection and water security and spent his life serving his community. I am pleased to be able to honour his memory with the establishment of this bursary fund to support students with similar interests pursue their goals,” his widow Jean Thomson said in a statement.

Each year the new bursary will be awarded to Greater Victoria school districts on a rotating basis, starting this year with the Saanich School District. Participating principals recommend a student on the basis of financial need and an interest in environmental protection or water security.

RELATED: Former Oak Bay mayor Nils Jensen remembered for humour, professionalism, intelligence

Jensen served as a councillor for 15 years in Oak Bay before taking the helm as mayor from 2011 to 2018. Over the years at the regional level, he chaired the CRD board and the Regional Water Supply Commission.

During his dozen years leading the water commission, he spearheaded raising of the Sooke dam that nearly doubled the capacity of the Sooke Reservoir – securing water availability for the region especially during hot, dry summers. Jensen also supported buying the Leech Water Supply Area.

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