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Kids of St. Ignatius make Sweet gesture to beloved crossing guard

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Bob Sweet, 66, will retire next week after 11 years as an adult crossing guard for the Kindergarten to Grade eight school. Sweet started wearing costumes as another way to stand out in the crowd to alert motorists that children were crossing the road but it immediately became part of his regular routine as the students absolutely adored him for it.

There was a milk jug, a whoopie cushion, a ghost, Darth Vader, a monkey and Goofy and they were all being escorted across the road by a gentleman in a kilt.

Just another day in front of St. Ignatius School.

But these days are winding down along with the school year as the kilt-wearing Bob Sweet, 66, will retire next week after 11 years as an adult crossing guard for the Kindergarten to Grade eight school.

Sweet started wearing costumes as another way to stand out in the crowd to alert motorists that children were crossing the road but it immediately became part of his regular routine as the students absolutely adored him for it.

At the corner of Corydon and Harrow on Wednesday morning, about a dozen grade eight students and their teacher Pat Barnson surprised Sweet by joining him in costume.

"It's put a smile on our faces every day," said Chas Meadows, 14. "Maybe we're coming to school kind of grumpy but when we see Mr. Sweet, you just start smiling because he's such a funny, happy guy. Our group is lucky, we had him here since we were in kindergarten."

Sweet said his official last day will be June 28, the last day of school.

"This was a bit of a shock (to see the kids in costumes) but sure is nice," said Sweet, who was openly surprised when the students walked up in a group wearing their costumes.

Sweet won't be retiring from the costume-wearing business as he has another gig lined up.

"Laughter Without Borders," he said, indicating the T-shirt he was wearing under the leather jacket he had matched with his kilt. "I'll be clowning around."

He'll be showing up at events and parties as a mascot or wearing various costumes for kids' birthday parties.

Some of his more memorable costumes over the years have included Batman, Daffy Duck and a leprechaun.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:51 AM CDT: Fixed typo in headline.

10:01 AM: corrects typo

10:16 AM: Adds slideshow.

11:09 AM: adds name of student dressed as whoopee cushion

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