Popular guard retires with a tip of the hat

Dignified crossing guard nods farewell to kids

Retiring crossing guard Jack Rohrschneider helps a group of students and their parents cross busy Cadboro Bay Road to get to L'Ecole Willows Elementary School.

Retiring crossing guard Jack Rohrschneider helps a group of students and their parents cross busy Cadboro Bay Road to get to L'Ecole Willows Elementary School.

After nearly eight years helping kids cross roads safely, hat-tipping crossing guard Jack Rohrschneider, 75, retires this year.

“I wish I could carry on, my legs won’t do it anymore. I can’t stand that long,” he said. “I’m going to miss it. That’s basically my social life. I’m going to miss the kids that’s for sure, and the parents.”

At Hillside Centre or the gym, he’s recognized as the Cadboro Bay Road guard who offers a wave and a tip of the hat.

“There’s a certain way in which he conducts himself that brings dignity to the kids, the parents,” said Gilles Grenier, who passes the popular guard daily.

“It’s this sense of dignity about what he does. He’s such a rare gem in today’s society. … I’m in my little glass bubble (car) and he reaches me.”

“He is much loved at the school. He’s a wonderful man,” agreed Wendy Holob, principal at Willows elementary school. “Anybody who drives by the school knows Jack. … As he finishes, and the kids have gone across the street, he looks at both drivers, and he tips his hat.”

Rohrschneider doled out his final wave near Willows elementary Thursday.

“I’m going to be a man of leisure I think,” Rohrschneider said. “Now I just want to fade into the background.”