April 5, 2016 / By: Hanna Archutowska

“You can call me Mr. Ed.” – A Tribute

Human Resources
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"You can call me Mr. Ed."                         

Maintenance legend in Surrey                                                                         

Mr. Ed was a pioneer in BC Mainstreet Operations. I remember well when he came for an interview we conducted with Ross Gowans in a winter of 2003.

His main experience was driving buses, dump trucks, semi-trucks but it was his good attitude and willingness to do anything and everything that got him the job.Mr. Ed had a desire to learn new things and solve problems. This allowed him to continually improve his skills on daily basis. He spent time with roofers, plumbers, electricians, appliance repairs and was learning from them the details of their trades. There was no task to small or too big for Mr. Ed. There were no time restrictions.

Every new maintenance guy we hired after was able to get guidance and support from Ed. In over 12 years of his work with Mainstreet, there were many maintenance guys coached by Ed. They all affectionately call him Mr. Ed.

Ed assisted in his own time with every fire and flood situation we ever had. He was always the first person in and the last one leaving from the sites.

Fixing things was his passion; he loved it when he found a way to make things work.

The first time we were afraid of losing him was when he was diagnosed with cancer. He became very sick after receiving Chemo, but coming back to work and be busy again was his goal.

A few months later Mr. Ed came back strong and full of energy.

Things were going well, Mainstreet was expanding to Abbotsford and Ed was still the man we called on for all of our maintenance needs.Mr. Ed had lots of compassion and love for the elderly. After work he often could be seen going to fix things or set up their furniture for our elderly tenants, whatever help they needed.

He also had soft spot in his heart for abused and mistreated kids. He often had tears in his eyes when coming back from a situation that he tried to diffuse.

Unfortunately 2 years after winning the battle with cancer, the beast came back. This time Doctors gave Ed very little hope. He would not hear it and just like he did with maintenance, he found a way to fight it. Ed searched for home remedies, completely changed his diet, ate magic mushroom soup, which he was later promoting to all cancer victims, and slowly beat the cancer once again.

In later years, whenever any of our team got sick with cancer, Ed always went to visit them to give them hope and support.

It was so good to have him back, rely on his expertise, and discuss new ideas and improvements.

In the intervening years, Abbotsford's portfolio grew to such a size that it had become its own portfolio, and we were growing in Surrey as well.

We were busy, we were adding new staff, managers, maintenance, cleaners. Mr. Ed not only kept assisting in every complex, supporting and training each new maintenance, he did it with a smile and patience.

Things were going well until last December, when i called Mr. Ed for an advice. He was not able to talk. He whispered that he is in a boiler room trying to warm up. Eventually he was taken to a hospital and was unconscious for almost 2 months. Doctors diagnosed severe blood infection. Once again Doctors were giving little hope to survive, but we all knew that MR. is a fighter. The way to recovery will be very, very long. He might not be able to come back to work.

He is missed daily. Members of all trades keep calling us, asking for an update on Ed's condition. They go and visit, they all miss having him around.

It was recently when one of our maintenance came to me and said "I would like to take over the role of Mr. Ed. I would like to be the guy you call on in every tough and difficult situation."I had tears in my eyes. Mr. Ed had left a legacy.

For those of you who know Mr. Ed, please share your thoughts with everyone here on this blog.

Mainstreet Equity Corp. is a publicly-traded (TSX: MEQ) residential real estate company in Canada. Mainstreet currently owns and operates properties in Surrey, BC; New Westminster, BC; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, AB; Cochrane, AB; Lethbridge, AB; Edmonton, AB; Fort Saskatchewan, AB; and Saskatoon, SK.

Mainstreet provides affordable, renovated apartment suites to Canadians, and is committed to creating real value without diluting shareholder interests.