Marius Felix Retires: When Comes Such Another?

Friday, August 02, 2019 - By: Phoebe Habkirk, Hope ‘19; Photo by Jim Ganley

My first memory of Mr Felix was meeting him during Orientation of my first year. My father had just left, and in a sudden flash, I realized I was alone in the middle of nowhere. But standing tall as ever by the Ross Building was Mr Felix, a lighthouse drawing in students who felt lost. 

Recognizing him from the stories my father, an Old Brentonian, had told me, I walked up and introduced myself. Although I cannot remember the exact words he said, I felt so at home after my talk with him that all the fear went away. 

Mr Felix is the epitome of Brentwood for me: his values, his love and dedication to the school showed me early on that this wonderful place would be what I made of it. That’s why it is sad for me to say goodbye to him as he retires after more than 19 years of housemastering, teaching, coaching, and running the school. Working with him through the SEC this year, I appreciate his unparalleled love for this school and those around him. He strives to make sure Brentwood stays contemporary and adjusts to modern needs while providing insight into the history and traditions of our school. 

Mr Felix, who’d been a student here for three years, returned to Brentwood in 2001 after working at Shawnigan for 17 years. Once back, he taught humanities and was the House Parent of Whittall. Later he moved from Assistant Head to Deputy Head. Mr Felix has tackled numerous jobs at Brentwood. He describes his roles over the years as "Satisfying, sometimes challenging, and interesting. There were so many different stages, but it was great fun." His work in the school allowed him to touch the lives of many different staff and students. Such varied experiences in his positions meant he was able to make connections with many who passed through Brentwood. 

His hard work is visible outside of the class and boardroom as well. While he was a student at Brentwood he participated in rowing, basketball, rugby, ice hockey, and track and field. Though he wouldn't brag about it, I have heard the legend of how he was Captain of the basketball, rowing and rugby teams all in one year. His passion for sports continued as he grew up, and he received an invite to the 1980 Summer Olympics as a rower. Then he played for Canada on the ruby pitch. All his expertise in sports helped lead to coaching of girls and boys rugby as well as basketball. Hayley Fear, the Captain of the 2019 Girls Rugby team, said "Mr Felix is amazingly dedicated to the things he loves, especially the girl's rugby team. He is passionate and hard headed, but treats every girl on the team like a daughter. He sees potential in even the smallest girls on the team. He has taught me to work hard, play hard, and love every moment of it. He is definitely one of the most inspiring men I've met."

After all his time at Brentwood, Mr Felix was most affected by the people around him. "I would say the best thing about Brentwood is the people, the students first and foremost, and my colleagues, many of whom are my friends. All of these folks fully commit to the school and making it run, and that's always been the way Brentwood operates." 

One of the best things about Brentwood is Mr Felix, his kind and thoughtful personality are what made an impact on me the first time I met him, but each meeting with him I learn more and more about the wonderful man he is. With that, I learned his wicked sense of humour.

So we say goodbye to the excellent and dutiful Mr Felix after 19 years of hard work at our school. Though we lose a big part of the Brentwood family, it brings me great joy to imagine him finally being able to take a well-deserved break surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren in Ottawa. This school wouldn't be the same without his hard work and love. He’s truly touched each person here. So on behalf of students, staff, and colleagues present and past, I wish him good luck in his retirement and happiness the rest of his life.

Phoebe Habkirk, Hope ‘19

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