If you've been around VCS for more than a few years, you may have had the pleasure of encountering our beloved former custodian, Carlos Martinez. For more than four decades, Carlos and his family members have been caring for our building. This may not sound very important. However, in addition to cleaning the bathrooms and mopping floors, Carlos has connected with generations of staff and students in meaningful ways.
Back when I was teaching primary classes, my students would spot Carlos in the hall towards the end of the school day and joyfully announce his arrival. No matter what kind of day they had had or how much they struggled with math or reading, every child could count on an enthusiastic greeting from Carlos, and sometimes even a treat! Teachers and staff members also experienced Carlos' kindness on a regular basis and witnessed his love for the Canucks, his church, his family, and the VCS community.
Carlos, his wife, Carmen, his daughters, and his grandchildren have all spent time looking after our building and spreading the signature Martinez love. Over the years, Marcelo (one of the five grandchildren who attended VCS), was closely mentored by Carlos and learned from him the importance of hard work and character. And now, Carlos has officially passed the baton to Marcelo, who has earned a business degree from SFU and merged strong family values with entrepreneurship to start his own cleaning business.
It's difficult to describe all the ways Carlos has impacted our community through the years. He has been part of countless VCS celebrations, visited classrooms, hosted parties to watch Netherlands vs Chile soccer matches, taught our children the importance of kindness, and patiently cleaned up after us every day. As a former VCS parent, I look back with gratitude on how Carlos treated my own children who as adults, still talk about his kindness and generosity to them.
Carlos is not someone who likes to sit still for very long and fortunately, the new boss (Marcelo) still lets him come to work when he wants to! We are grateful for the many, many ways that Carlos has blessed us over the years and are delighted to see him here from time to time.
Carlos, we bless you and Carmen in this new phase of your life. You have embodied generosity and gratitude; may you enjoy the fruits of your labour and reap all the blessings of this world. You are deeply loved and will always have a place at VCS!