Following worship on March 19th, the GPUC Ministry and Personnel Committee invite you to hear words of gratitude and share Thank You Cake in honour of Barry Fribance.  Barry, a current congregational member, was also caretaker extraordinaire at GPUC for three years and we would like to thank him for his efforts in caring for our Ministry of Place.


DIANE:  Good morning everyone, if we could have your attention for a few moments, we have some words to share before the serving of the celebration cake. Barry finished his employment officially with us in 2015, and for various reasons we have had to defer our acknowledgement until now. For those of you who don’t know us, we are members of Grosvenor Park United Church’s Ministry and Personnel Committee.  One of our roles is to oversee the hiring, wrapping up of contracts and the general TLC of all staff.  My name is Diane and this is Eleanor.

ELEANOR: Neither of us were on this committee in 2012 when Barry was hired as our regular caretaker.  But Barry was also a congregational member and so we knew him in that context.  He participated in church events, sang in the choir and we all appreciated the fruits of his labour as we enjoyed a clean and well-maintained facility. When each of us took our positions on M&P, we learned more about him.  Here are just a few things we learned:

  1. Barry loved his job and was very happy caring for the same building in which he chose to worship.
  2. He took pride in his work but was never prideful.
  3. He loved working side by side with the members of the Monday Morning Work Crew.
  4. When our facility was rented out to the AIM program, Barry did everything he could to accommodate this sudden increase in traffic and demands on the building. 
  5. Barry had a specific job description.  This covered the usual tasks one would expect of a caretaker, including anything that would be unexpected in a public building…pretty serious stuff that involves bathrooms and garbage… But many of the services he provided were in the capacity of a quiet volunteer. This activity was perhaps, and unknowingly, taken for granted by the average congregant. Here are a few examples:
  • Tables were mysteriously set up for committee or council meetings.
  • The church building was always open when it needed to be open because he came bright and early to do so.  Then, late at night, he would come and check on the building to make sure all the lights were out and everything locked up safe and sound.
  • If our snow removal volunteers are called Snow Angels, then Barry was the Snow Arch-angel.  I don’t think anyone could beat him here to shovel on a snow day.

ELEANOR: There’s no doubt that Barry values his friendship with “the guys” on the Monday Morning Work Crew, and that is reciprocated.  When Barry experienced a serious health situation, they rallied around him in so many ways.

DIANE: Because Barry, you are extremely humble, and are not one for the spotlight, folks had to rein me in and I had to forget about the big musical production tribute I had planned for today.  Oh, and the guys said, as much as they like you, they would not build the special chair, well, a throne, really, I had designed for you to sit in for this auspicious event…

ELEANOR: Instead, we present to you this small token of appreciation for your service. Above all, Barry, you are kind and considerate, and we are so pleased to have had you on our staff and even more pleased that you are a member of this congregation so we can still enjoy your company.