Nova Scotia

Doctors said he would never hold a job — now he's retiring after 35 years

'The energy he brings and surrounds himself with is contagious'

Colleagues, friends and family wish Andrew MacEachern a happy retirement 0:43


After Andrew MacEachern was born with Down syndrome in 1960, medical experts told his father he would never learn to read or write, or ever hold down a job.

He proved them wrong. On Wednesday, after 35 years delivering supplies around the Victoria General hospital in Halifax, MacEachern was celebrated by his co-workers at a well-earned retirement party.

"I have a lots of friends here, I'll miss everybody. I had a wonderful time here," he said. "I'm going to miss this place very much."

Andrew MacEachern cake

Andrew MacEachern's retirement cake. He's heading to the Caribbean on vacation to celebrate. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

Down Syndrome is a genetic chromosomal disorder that can have wide ranging impacts. Many people suffer some kind of mental impairment as a result.

The odds didn't stop MacEachern. In 1981 he got a job at the VG and has worked as a delivery clerk.

"The energy he brings and surrounds himself with is contagious," said MacEachern's supervisor, Frank Johnson. 

"Tremendous love for him that everyone feels for him. He knows everyone in the hospital. He will be missed. He knows every corner of the hospital and all the staff. He is always sunny since I've known him."

Andrew MacEachern

Andrew MacEachern celebrated his retirement at a party held in his honour at the Victoria General hospital on Wednesday. (CBC)

MacEachern's sister, Donna MacEachern, said retirement will be a different experience for her brother. 

"He's so happy every day. He always wanted to go to work. It's been heartwarming to see him succeed in every area of his life," she said.

Andrew MacEachern said he's a little bit nervous about retiring, but he is looking forward to his retirement gift — a Caribbean cruise in February.

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