Member Of The Month - November 2013
School District #67, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada, is located in the heart of wine country, and school janitor Peter Dunstan-Adams has made this valley home for over 30 years.
The son of a doctor, and born in South Africa, he had no intentions of following his father into medicine.
Dunstan-Adams, simply put, grew up as a jock.
If it involved a ball, he played it — golf, football, baseball and his much beloved rugby.
Dunstan-Adams and sports go hand in hand.
A Sports And Family Shrine
But what has this got to do with a school janitor?
For the past 20 years, Dunstan-Adams has worked for our district as a school janitor.
During this time he has shared his love of sports with every student who wished to benefit from his coaching or pay a visit to his “shrine.”
His janitorial closet is virtually a museum that any sports enthusiast would find intriguing.
There are commemorative pucks, mugs, pins and banners.
Although his well-maintained custodial equipment takes center stage, one can’t help but focus on his “heroes” that neatly and reverently adorn his closet walls.
Dunstan-Adams refers to himself as “old school,” and he admires how the sports greats of the past were, and still are, fine ambassadors of their craft.
Simply put, they respected their sport and their fans.
An important element of his “shrine” is a walk down memory lane arrangement of family pictures.
One snapshot is of Dunstan-Adams and his father, since deceased, touching the Stanley Cup together.
Included are photos of Dunstan-Adams and his lovely wife, Tami, in some comedic poses.
There is no doubt that the apples of his eye are his two children, Spenser and Arlene.
A picture album sits neatly in the corner filled with cherished memories.
Dunstan-Adams invites any curious students to visit his beloved shrine.
When Peter changes to another school due to unforeseen structural changes, he methodically and lovingly disassembles his shrine and makes it ready for transfer to another school for those students to enjoy.
Dunstan-Adams is a well-loved people person.
Due to his army style flattop haircut, some affectionately refer to him as the sergeant; however the kids just call him Mr. D.A.
Dunstan-Adams is best known for giving his time generously, especially when it come to the kids.
Dunstan-Adams has coached junior and senior basketball, golf and yes, rugby.
Everyone who benefits from his enthusiastic approach to sports has been rewarded with many intangibles.
Most learn discipline, team work and school spirit; they develop respect for the coach, their fellow players, the game itself and the thrill of victory.
For others Mr. D.A. is the closest thing they have to a father.
Dunstan-Adams has been known to invite his son’s friends and teammates over for a Super Bowl party.
Respect And Admiration
Also, Dunstan-Adams has more than earned the respect and admiration of the school staff.
Any school that is fortunate enough to have Dunstan-Adams as a janitor enjoys a higher standard of cleanliness.
“How can you teach the children to respect our school and environment if I don’t lead by example,” he says.
During a recent graduation of grade 12 students, they were invited to name the person in the school system that most influenced their lives.
Five students stated that it was Mr. D.A. who had influenced them the most.
The high school principal, Dave Brunelle, simply shook his head in pleasant disbelief and exclaimed, “I have never heard of five people being recognized like that, especially by a school janitor.”
I have always said that if someone will one day have a school named after them, it will be Mr. D.A.
I hope I’ll be around to see it.
Custodial Supervisor CBSE / RBSM
Nominate someone for Member of the Month here.