I first got to know Andre in the fall of 1997 when my co-worker, Nadine, introduced him to me
at our newly formed rehabilitation clinic on 14 street in Calgary’s Beltline. At that time, our
clinic was in need of having a front reception desk built and Andre volunteered to help me build
it. It was during the desk construction that I first learned about Andre’s superb character.
The thing I noticed most about Andre during the building of the desk was his calmness and
positivity. Even when we ran into issues building, he always stayed grounded and focused.
While we were working together, he told me stories about being in northern Manitoba when he was young, and how he’d dealt with all kinds of adversity, from having freezing hands while
being out in the bush in the winter to dealing with work and life adversities. To this day, Andre
always spins a positive note off of the challenges he encounters. I find this to be a very
Soon after our first meeting, Andre became our clinic’s IT consultant, and our friendship grew
from there. When in his presence, Andre often tells us about his biking and photography
adventures, always with a big smile on his face. One day when he was helping us at the clinic,
I was rambling on about how I needed a dog sitter for my dog, Henry. Andre immediately
volunteered and took care of Henry while we were away on holidays. When we came back
home, I could tell that the two of them had bonded strongly. As a matter of fact, I think Andre
could dognap Henry, and he wouldn’t even notice or care that I was missing. Each time Andre
visits, Henry is more excited to see Andre than when I would come home from holidays. Henry
always does a full body wag that is over the top with joy when he realizes it is Andre at our
front door. He always gets down to Henry’s level and sits with him for at least 10 minutes, with
Henry wagging crazily and giving dog kisses to Andre. Nobody I know gets such a strong
welcoming from Henry. We are always so happy to see Andre!