Jan 8, 2013 – a new year


I do not usually post on the blog when I am not teaching as I see it primarily as a way to enrich the class learning experience….however, sometimes you just have to break with protocol as a way to respond to events.

By now you have all heard of Gilbert’s unexpected death and if my conversations with you in the halls and the shops are any indication, you are as shocked, saddened and dismayed as I am.  Some of you requested I post something honouring Gilbert so that you too might have a venue to express yourselves – so here goes.

Gilbert began his career here at CVCEC as a student and his commitment, drive and enthusiasm for the trade and our school soon translated into his natural morphing into a teacher.  When I taught him, he was like having a second teacher in the class – he was always willing to assist other students and was honest with them as to whether they were meeting the expectations. He would make positive, helpful comments as to what they could do to improve their efforts and tell them if it was working. He was truly respected by his peers.

In his role as teacher, he inspired his students to be successful and to work to the highest levels of their abilities.  He was a no-nonsense kind of guy whose expectations were clear and unwavering.  Students always knew what they were going to get with Gilbert.  He respected his students and they returned that respect. He set the bar high and helped his students achieve results. At the same time, for all of his serious approach to life, he had a wicked (and sometimes sly) sense of humor and was not shy to make fun of the rest of us, fully expecting the same in kind, believing that a job worth doing is a job worth doing well, especially while having some fun.

It was rare to hear a negative word from him and he never avoided an unpleasant but necessary task.  He was organized to a fault, always prepared for  the day’s work, and willing to work above and beyond the call of duty.

Gilbert was a fantastic colleague, a great teacher, a wonderful role model, but for all that, I will miss him most for his friendship, the twinkle in his eye that preceded his dry humour (as he was about to make fun of me), and his steady as it goes demeanour that was always a great help to me in my efforts as a person and teacher.

Gilbert, you will be greatly missed,


About jhcarpentry

I am a teacher in the Construction Carpentry Program at the Chateauguay Valley Career Education Centre (CVCEC) for the New Frontiers School board. This blog is a way for me to connect with my students.
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20 Responses to Jan 8, 2013 – a new year

  1. Phil leger says:

    Gilbert was a very nice teacher, we’ll all going to miss him, i’ll always remember was he used to tell me when i was having a hard time with something, “Phil your thinking to hard.. KISS keep it simple stupid”

    Gilbert i miss you

    Philippe Léger

  2. justin ryan says:

    I would like to start by thanking gilbert for his dedication to teaching And his hard work. There were many times were I doubted myself and was almost considering quiting but his dedication and his passion gave me the strength to keep going he never gave up on me so why should I give up. His sense of humor always made me laugh. In the short time I knew him I am very saddned so I cant imagine his peers and co workers who shared so many good times with him. my deepest condolences to his family and though hes gone he will not be forgotten. rest in peace gilbert sincerealy justin ryan

  3. Reza says:

    At a time such as this, words cannot express our feelings. My thoughts are with Gilbert and he is always in my heart.

  4. Ali says:

    Gilbert was awonderful teacher,he will not be forgotten.
    He rest in peace.

  5. Joey says:

    hello everybody that is reading and writing
    there is no easy way when a fellow teacher ,friend is lost by such a sudden death he was a great teacher , he always said joey give your 100 percent and since then i ve done my best .
    that was the best advise he gave me he always said joey can you help me when people needed help he say it doesnt bother you right the classes are to big well my thoughts are with every body
    and enjoy life its to short

  6. Phillip Duheme says:

    Gilbert was a great teacher taught me a lot of thing in framing and other trades in constructions. the things he as taught me will always stay around and will be passed on in life. everyone will miss the way gilbert acted, the way he was when teaching something he was always focused on the task ahead and alway help students in need the most. gilbert will always be in our hearts. but no what matter wahat we will all someday see him again.

  7. Tommy says:

    I think we all have nothing but kind thoughts and words towards Gilbert. Even tho after that first period he may of seemed to be the biggest hard ass in the school. But it didn’t take him very long to win you over with his withy satire. Although I only knew him briefly, you could see his ambition to teach. I remember during the modual he was teaching I was really doubting my choise to come back to school. The next day he caugh me after class, explained the lessons I had missed and reassure me that I was making the right choisses. So finally I have Gilbert to thank for keeping me on the right track. I just wish I had shown more gratitude when I had the chance.

  8. Tyler Murray says:

    I only had Gilbert for a short two weeks, but during those two weeks he taught me a lot about the trade and also a lot about my self. Every time I do a site layout in the future I will always think of him. Rest in Peace Gilbert. You will never be forgotten. May peace and love be with the family and friends. I’ll miss you Gilbert

  9. ChrisDreamTeam says:

    It’s extremely difficult for me to express myself because I have so many things to say. Gilbert was one of my favorite teachers because he expected us all to be professional and ambitious about our work. Most of us got along with him so well because we shared some of the same values and work ethics. I personally will never forget the day he saw Joey, Mike and I restart our assignment because it was slightly off. I was expecting him to tell us “its fine, you’re within the passing mark” but alternatively he encouraged us to achieve 100%. On a personal level, that immediately hit me because I compared Gilbert to my deceased grandfather; he wanted me to strive for perfection as did Gillbert. I can truthfully say I will miss Gilbert and I am filled with forlornness because we’ve lost such a great teacher who had so much knowledge of the trade.

    P.s. He is and will always be the only man allowed in the shop with sun glasses, may he rest in peace.
    And John I know you don’t know what forlornness means so let me fill you in. It means sadness young grasshopper

  10. Hunter Shattler says:

    Gilbert was an excellent teacher. He was a no nonsense kind of guy but we always managed to have a laugh in his class. He always encouraged us to do our best and to never give up. Most of all Gilbert respected all of his students and for that we all respected him. He will be greatly missed by everyone. Rest in Peace Gilbert.

  11. Jason Somerville says:

    I only knew gilbert for a very brief time but I undoubtedly learnt a lot, he was a great teacher and from what I hear a great man. My deepest condolences to your friends and family, rest in peace.

  12. J says:

    a man of the trade
    his life was made
    worked ars hard as a spade
    his light will not fade
    in the shadow he has fallen
    from the ashes he will rise in memory
    teaching these small fries
    you could see it in his eyes
    its funny how time flies
    when someone dies
    he was the old of the old
    is what i’ve been told
    my mind was sold
    to a man who was so bold
    into the void gilbert goes
    with a glad heart
    for his journey is just beginning
    where as ours has just ended
    ashes to ashes
    dust to dust
    cry if you must

  13. Richard says:

    Hey everyone the words expressed in these posts are really amazing. I know from a personal side I taught Gilbert he was an amazing student. Always willing to help others and keen to learn something new. Than I had the privilege to be his student he was a good teacher and mentor in many ways. Then I had the privilege of being his co-worker. But the best was his friendship. Gilbert you will truly be missed.
    Your Friend Always

  14. Shaun S. says:

    Gonna miss you Gilbert, good man good times won’t ever forget what you taught me. I hope to see you again in that giant construction site in Heaven.

  15. Alex Tousignant says:

    Although I only had Gilbert for a short period of time what he taught me will stick with me forever.When I looked at him all I could think was if I have half the drive or commitment to perfection as this man I’ll be alright. His humor was unexpected which made it that much more hilarious to me.He will most certainly be missed in the hallways but he is in a better place now.
    -Rest in Paradise Gilbert

  16. Roland says:

    Gilbert, from the eyes of those who know you least, we can only say GOOD things about you, you was first and foremost a teacher but also a friend. It is clear that your work here has come to an end and you are on your way to meet the creator who has other plans for you, May the gates of heaven receive you, i must say that, through all the sorrow its a blessing to have known you and am sure that everyone who knew you will find comfort knowing that, they have you as an angel watching over them,because i AM

  17. Victorio Pereira says:

    Gilbert etait quelqu’un qui m’a beaucoup apprit. Je me souviendrai toujours de lui et ses facons d’accomplir certaines taches.
    Je me souviens une fois j’avais un contrat de plancher pour un client et j’avais aucun surperviseur autour de moi sauf Gilbert qui etait dans ma tete. Je me disais toujours qu’il fallait que je le fasse au normes de Gilbert, pas plus qu’un huitieme de difference! haha… j’en rit encore jusqu’a aujourd’hui. Je sourit toujours quands je pense a lui et comment il m’a toujours pousser pour faire mon mieux possible. Honnetement… ci jamais je construit a la perfection aujourd’hui c’est grace a lui. Je me souviens quand on a fait notre examen de plancher it fesait tellement chaud qu’il nous amenait de l’eau et nous forcait a boire pour pas qu’on tombe sur la connaissance. C’est des jestes comme ca qu’il demontrait ses emotions. Ils nous disait toujours qu’il n’avait pas de jokes mais des trucs a place, laisse moi vous dire que ses trucs ont rester avec moi plus que n’importe quelle blague que j’ai entendue.
    Pour mettre fin a mon petit mot: Merci Gilbert pour tous les bons moments. je voulais toujours faire parti de ton equipe et maintenant tu va faire parti du mien, dans mon coeur et ma tete.

    On va te manquer mon homme…

    • Nicole Martin says:

      I was in shock and sadden by the news. I had Gilbert for 3 of the modules in 2011-2012. He was a no nonsense kind of teacher, which was great for me. He was always there if you needed him. I had alot of conversations with him. I learned a couple tricks from him. I remembered one thing he told me, very clearly. He said that whenever he goes to a client’s house to do work he always leaves the place cleaner than how it was. I always knew to clean the mess that’s made. But to go above that, I learned from him and I’ve since used it, and it has helped me. Gilbert I am sadden by your early departure, you will always be apart of my life. Keep smiling Gil. You will be missed.

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