UK: The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has announced the death of its former head of technical and safety affairs John Asprey.
John served the Association – then known as the HVCA – for more than 30 years having joined as productivity officer in 1973.
“John made a huge contribution to the technical body of knowledge of the Association and his legacy continues to inform much of our work today,” commented BESA chief executive David Frise.
“A true champion of technical rigour, he was also an extremely popular man, who was universally respected.”
A former Haden apprentice, John Asprey joined the HVCA when it was determined to tackle falling productivity in the industry. He went on to develop a considerable body of technical guidance and standards and later became secretary of the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC), which involved working with the trade unions and helping to promote training and apprenticeships.
He is remembered fondly by former colleagues and presidents of the Association, who recalled his good humour, dedication and passion for motorbikes.
Bill Belshaw, HVCA President 1997/98, described John as “a great guy” and paid tribute to his “cheerful manner” and “very precise, hard work”.
Graham Manly OBE, who was President in 2009/10 added: “This is indeed very sad. He was a delightful guy, very capable, knowledgeable and conscientious, and humorous with it.”
Former chief executive Robert Higgs OBE also started work at the Association in 1973 and said he and John remained friends for 45 years.
“We shared adventures, experiences and confidences – and I shall treasure the wonderful memories,” said Mr Higgs. “Many will recall his unique, insightful – sometimes irreverent – humour and incredibly quick wit, which is something that I will miss very much.”