‘I love providing for our community’

Longtime municipal employee retiring after 30-plus years

STEPHEN ROBERTS stephen.roberts@saltwire.com



SaltWire Network


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For more than 30 years, Keith Antle has taken great satisfaction in his work, helping bring important and exciting programs to the people of Grand FallsWindsor. Antle, 57, has worked with the Town of Grand FallsWindsor in varying capacities since 1991. In the last eight years, he has served as the director of community services. In this capacity, he was responsible for leadership and oversight of the community services department, ensuring quality services and programs are offered to townspeople. This includes parks and recreation, town arenas, parks, sporting programs, seniors’ programs, children’s programs and economic development. “It’s just been a passion for me, I love our municipality, I love providing for our community, whether running a program for seniors or getting new facilities for our town,” he tells Central Wire. “It’s just something I always put my heart and soul into.” However, Antle’s time serving his hometown is winding down. His retirement is imminent. Nov. 25 will be his last day. Antle’s work relationship with the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor started as a student when he worked with the town through the summer. He did that for five years. After graduating, he taught physical education as a schoolteacher for two years. There weren’t many teaching jobs available in Newfoundland and Labrador back then, so Antle found a temporary position in the Northwest Territories and was expecting another position there again the following year. However, he wanted to stay home in Grand Falls-Windsor where he had lived nearly all his life. While Antle expressed interest in working for the town to Mike Pinsent, then town manager, he had his plane ticket booked for up north before the town council could convene to approve his hiring. But the town manager hinted there may be a position for him anyway. “He said, ‘I’ll tell you one thing, I can’t tell you (if) you got the job or not, but don’t take that flight,’” Antle recalls with a laugh. So, he didn’t. The following week he was hired and the rest is history. He remained a full-time employee of the town for the next 32 years. His wife, Maria, who was also a teacher, was going to travel with him up north. She ended up getting a job in Grand Falls-Windsor as well. MEETING THE COMMUNITY’S NEEDS Antle’s background in athletics, as a physical education teacher, suited him well for his first role with the town as a programming person in recreation. His duties later shifted when he became a maintenance foreman before, eight years ago, moving into his role as director of community services. One big thing that has happened since Antle started working with the town is the growth of the Exploits Valley Salmon Festival. “When it started, it was very small scale, local activities and so forth, and throughout the years,” Antle recalls. He was involved with making it bigger and better. They have managed to get larger facilities, building a large stage to host big time entertainers — such as the Eagles, Kiss, Aerosmith and John Fogerty — for upwards of 20,000 spectators to enjoy. Antle says most fulfilling is providing services for the people - for instance, helping seniors financially, socially and with mental health issues. “I get as much satisfaction running a children’s program as I do from running a major event,” he adds. He notes a couple years ago, Grand Falls-Windsor hosted the provincial Special Olympics, which they will once again host next year. It was great to see how much the Special Olympians enjoyed the experience. “It’s all about making sure everybody in our community, whether you’re a senior, whether you’re a child, whether you’re somebody with a disability, we’re meeting their needs,” says Antle. POST-RETIREMENT LIFE Given he is still healthy and Maria recently retired as an educator, the timing was right to retire. “I’ve certainly put my time and effort in here and appreciate the town and everything that they have done for me,” he says. “I just wanted to move on and spend time with my family.” He’s also about to become a grandparent for the first time; his son Michael is having a child in December. “I can’t wait to have a granddaughter and to spend a lot of time with her,” he says. Antle and his wife also plan on travelling. This winter, they will spend three months in Portugal and have a 700 km hike through northern Spain planned for next year. For Antle, the work he put in during the last 30-plus years was all about the people of his community. “My satisfaction in everything I do is for our citizens and our community,” he says. “It’s not about me, it’s about everybody else.”