The Pied Piper of East Van

Pied-Piper-3The ancient story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin is a well known children’s fairy tale.

The citizens of the German town of Hamelin needed to rid their community of rats. They hired a piper for the job, who played his pipes and led all the rodents from their nooks and cranny’s to their death in the nearby Wiser River. The mayor refused to pay him so the piper turned on the magic once again and led all the children from the village, never to be seen again.

For Matt Winkelman, this isn’t just a fairy tale. Winkelman is a project manager with Rize

Matt Winkelman & Mike Chisholm at Rize construction site, Vancouver.

Matt Winkelman & Mike Chisholm at Rize construction site, Vancouver.

building experts. Currently the company has a number of larger project on the go, including  Terminal, Rolston, Wave and Kingsway projects. There’s something to the idea of a piper helping to resolve problems.  The following is an excerpt from a recent Rize company blog posting.  Thanks to Teresa Tso for the contribution.

Here’s Matt Winkelman’s story.

“It was 15-years ago, when Matt was but a wee lad earning his stripes (as a project manager) with his old Scottish superintendent. They were working on a project that was having more than their share of challenges. “I know what this place needs,” the old guy growled, and he rang up a bagpipe player for help. “You see,” he explained, “it’s gremlins that cause all these problems; they make trouble every time you look away and there’s only way to stop them. They got these big ears and they can’t stand any noise, so we have to chase them out!”  You had to be there to see for yourself, but the bagpipe trick worked and everything from that time on went smooth as the River Tay.

Vancouver-20130208-02051When Matt grew up and became his own man, he tried twice to forgo the bagpipes on a project.  Much to his dismay, water lines burst and water from the sprinkler system ran down the walls like rain to fill all the electrical conduits in the building.  On the second project, soap was poured into the water feature and six foot high suds filled the street corner intersection. Those little scoundrels!

At the terminal building last week, with the building nearing completion, the piper began on the top floor and played throughout the building, right down to the parking garage and out into the yard.

If you ever bump into Matt, ask him if he’d dare try to keep the bagpipes away from a project of his again.  And funny, he’s not even Scottish!”

About Mike Chisholm

Bagpiper, writer, fisherman and father born and raised in Nova Scotia, now living in Vancouver area.
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