What started as a six-month temporary job for a Cariboo College drafting student turned into a 35-year stint with three careers within a career.
On Thursday, Len Hrycan ends his employment with the City.
"I've been fortunate I've been able to do that," he said Friday of his positions in the City's engineering, planning and corporate affairs departments.
Each department was different, but each department had its own rewards.
Hrycan was born and raised in Saskatoon, Sask., until he was in Grade 11, when his family moved to Kamloops. That was in 1973.
In 1977, he was finished at Cariboo College and looking for work. He was tempted by a job in Calgary, but the six-month City drafting job let him stay at home a little longer.
Kamloops is still his home. With two of his four children still in school, and the other two still in the area, he has strong reasons to remain.
In his City Hall years, there were lots of highlights — moments, mostly — that he recalls with fondness.
He was involved with the City's first residential development, the 28-lot Lincoln Court.
He worked on the restoration of St. Andrews on the Square, a church that many thought was beyond saving.
He helped out on the redevelopment of the old CN station area on Lorne Street that now wows every passenger on the Rocky Mountaineer who disembarks in Kamloops for the night.
He bought the City's first IBM personal computer that took a year to justify to the higher ups for approval. That early entry into computerization put Kamloops ahead of the game when it came to the City's mapping system.
But, as cliché as it is, what Hrycan will miss most is the people. He has grown attached to the staff in each department he has worked in and learned to respect their strengths.
"The best part of the ride is who you work with," he said. "I've never regretted a day coming into work."
Hrycan can sound like a bureaucrat when he talks and cites bylaws like a dictionary, but he has a mischievous sense of humour underneath it all.
This is the man who masterminded a prank that involved taking a radio reporter's iPhone away for it ringing in chambers during a council meeting and having the mayor smash it with a gavel.
During his "angry" walk up to the mayor wielding the gavel, Hrycan switched the real iPhone with an old, broken one.
CHNL's Angelo Iaocobucci was gobsmacked, stunned into a rare reaction of silence. Hrycan had the bashed-up phone made into a trophy to award to the reporter.
He has watched as Kamloops has overcome its inferiority complex with Kelowna and moved into its own skin with the Tournament Capital program and other initiatives unique to this city.
"We believed we were second fiddle to Kelowna," he said. "We aren't any more."
To see the City broaden its services beyond water and sewer to social programs and the Tournament Capital has been a highlight, he said.
Hrycan wants to take a while to settle into retirement, but he won't ever give up being involved in the community. He has gone to Nicaragua three times on aid missions organized through the Kamloops Fire and Rescue's Operation Nicaragua campaigns.
His advice to David Duckworth, who succeeds Hrycan as director of community and corporate affairs, is simple: "Be happy at work. When you're in the thick of things, remember your whole goal is to shape and create a better community."