So long, cheerful Charlie
Popular caretaker at All Hallows school in North River retires
Everyone at All Hallows Elementary knows Charlie.
Charlie Fillier, the full-time caretaker, has been working at the North River school for 10 years. In that time, he has become as well known to staff and students for his cheerful smile and friendly teasing as he is for his hard work and reliability.
As he walks briskly through the school’s corridors on June 22, a chorus of high-pitched voices wish him a happy birthday. It’s his 69th, and the entire school knows it.
But the good wishes go beyond your typical birthday greeting. It’s also his second-last day on the job.
Charlie retired last week after a long and satisfying working career.
“I’ll miss having contact with the youngsters all the time,” Fillier said. “I torture them, messing up their hair and that.”
Fillier worked for 20 years with the school board. Before he became a caretaker, Fillier worked with Newfoundland Hardwood for 24 years. While he admits the transition to being an elementary school caretaker was difficult at first, he has learned to enjoy all the noise and energy that comes with the job.
“ The principal always introduces me as Mr. Fillier, but soon all the kids just call me Charlie,” Fillier said with a smile. “ I don’t mind; none of the kids here are cheeky; they’re all good.”
His workdays began at seven in the morning and end at five in the evening, with a twohour break around noon. “It’s a hard workload,” Fillier admitted. Principal Kevin Giles described Fillier as a “ happy, fun-loving guy” in a demanding job. He said Fillier’s energy and optimism will be greatly missed around the school.
Giles said Fillier is never impatient or illtempered.
“He never gets upset when someone dirties his clean floors,” he added. “ He is wellrespected by the staff and the kids.”
Won’t be lonely
While he may be retiring from All Hallows, Fillier has no intention of slowing down. He looks forward to devoting more time to his three young grandsons. “ They’ll keep me busy with their soccer and their tae kwon do,” he said.
When his wife Linda — a medical records technician at Carbonear General Hospital — retires in a few years, Fillier said the two of them might do some travelling around the province. Until then, he said, he won’t be lonely.
“My grandsons have a way of hanging off of me.”