Rick’s Retirement Report (by T.J. Wakeling)
The staff and students of SJ Willis are saying goodbye to our long-serving custodian, Rick Parker. We would like to thank Rick for his years of dedication and hard work. We will miss him greatly!
Here’s a Q and A with Rick…
Q: How long have you been the custodian at SJ Willis ?
A: I have worked 40 years in the district and 31 at SJ Willis.
Q: Did you enjoy your time here?
A: Very much, I was fortunate to be trained by first class engineer Dick Tyler who taught me a good work ethic and I was proud of my boiler room.
Q: I heard you went to school here as a kid.. is that true?
A: I went here from 1970-73. There was so many students, my grade 10 English class was on the stage because all the other classes were full.
Q: Which did you like more, being a student or being the custodian here?
A: Being a student because I was a teenager, I was care free, and got to hang out with my friends.
Q: Do you remember having any scary (dangerous) times here while on duty?
A: Cleaning inside the hot water tank and inside the fire box. Also servicing the pneumatic valves way up in the air shaft that runs from the boiler room to the roof.
Q: Do you think this place is haunted?
A: No, SJ is on the sight of a maximum security prison which burnt down at the turn of the century. If it is going to be haunted it will be by me in 100 years.
Q: What is your best memory of being at SJ?
A: The staff and students. Also, I met and married my ex-wife who worked in the office and we have a wonderful son.
Q :Are you happy or sad to be leaving?
A: Happy and sad. I will miss this place and students and staff, but I’m excited for a new beginning.
Q: Any plans for when you retire?
A: Get outside, and get more active.
Q: How much will you miss waking up so early in the morning?
A: I haven’t woken up to an alarm in 30 years, so I’ll still be up early. I love mornings. The beauty is I can go back to bed if I’m so inclined.