Public Works Week - Darryl Andrew
For the past 29 years, Darryl Andrew has worked with the Town of Blackfalds as a Utility/Equipment Operator. His job is required to make sure that the water which is supplied from the City of Red Deer is safe to drink for the residents of Blackfalds. His team also monitors the lift stations to make sure that there are no problems with the pumping of sewer to Red Deer.
Darryl has lived in Blackfalds since he was two years old, when the population of Blackfalds was just under 500 people!
“Seeing the Town grow and progress has been one of my favourite things to see as an employee and resident,” said Darryl. “It’s nice to know long term residents of the Town and its always nice to welcome the younger generations. It’s great seeing young parents being actively involved with their kids, using facilities and taking part in the many activities that Blackfalds has to offer.”
Darryl was working for Alberta Highways when the Town’s Public Works Foreman at the time phoned him and asked if he wanted the job. During that time, Alberta Highways was beginning to privatize and, not knowing what the job would bring, Darryl jumped at the chance.
“I have operated heavy duty equipment since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, as my Dad has a sand and gravel operation,” explained Darryl when asked what his favourite part of his job is. “I love operating equipment and teaching all the new employees how to operate them.”
When asked what his least favourite part of his job is, Darryl said that he does not like swimming in and fixing sewer problems – for obvious reasons.
Darryl is very proud to be a part of the Blackfalds community for over 29 years, and he looks forward to being a part of the Town for many more.
“It is certainly nice to see the roads being upgraded, as at one time the only paved road in the Town was the old C & E Trail (Gregg Street) and Broadway Ave south of the rail tracks," said Darryl.
“I have seen many things come and go during my time including the ice cream stand, the rodeo grounds, the golf course, the old ball diamonds, the community hall on main street (where lots of dances were held) and the old Town water tower where we used to climb and drink beer on a Friday night.
"I saw the old curling building, which I do not miss as much due to it being unheated and cold, but certainly miss the bonspieling. I also miss the Town’s elevators where we used to play hide and seek, and the old pool hall where I would get my hair cut by the Town’s barber. I certainly do not miss the smell of the old chicken barns and was glad when the rail line installed crossing arms – I once had a close encounter with a dayliner.”
Darryl still lives in Blackfalds with his wife. He enjoys camping, working out at the gym, tinkering in his garage, watching TV, and spending time with his 13 grandchildren.
Thank you, Darryl, for your dedication and contribution to the community of Blackfalds!