Langford residents and the city are paying tribute after long-serving Assistant Chief Lance Caven died after a valiant battle with cancer.
Caven spent 30 years with Langford Fire Rescue, first as a volunteer when he joined in 1991, and then moving into a career position in 2002, and finally working as assistant chief since 2017.
Karen Engbrecht, Caven’s neighbour of 15 years who first met him when he was 11, said she was “utterly heartbroken” at the news.
“He grew up here,” Engbrecht told Black Press Media. “He kind of is Glenridge Drive, and not seeing him drive past anymore, not seeing him walk or ride bikes with his family down the street is just, it’s heartbreaking. He’s definitely going to be missed by so many people.”
Engbrecht said they helped organize a reunion for former classmates from Belmont Secondary last October, and Caven was still making people laugh even while he was struggling with cancer. Many people attended and for some, it was their last chance to reconnect with him.
“He just put a smile on your face. He was always funny. He was always laughing and his laugh was unmistakable, he had a very distinct laugh, and it made you laugh. So, any conversation I’ve ever had with him in my entire life involves many, many laughs.”
A number of people paid tribute to Caven in the comments on a Facebook post Engbrecht shared to a Belmont alumni page.
“Lance was such a nice guy and it was always great to run into him and chat. He was always so friendly and so good with the kids he’d take on tours around the fire hall. My condolences to his family and all of his loved ones. He will be missed,” wrote Erin Pugh.
The city also paid tribute to Caven.
“He dedicated his life to preventing fires and saving lives, and will always be remembered for his love and passion for firefighting and fire prevention. He will be greatly missed, and his legacy will remain in our hearts forever,” a spokesperson for the City of Langford wrote in a statement.
Flags will be lowered throughout the city and the region in his honour.
“The family and the Langford Fire Department ask for privacy and space to grieve, and treasure AC Caven’s memory during this difficult time.”
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