In a ceremony held on Sept. 29, 2017 at The Old State House in Dover, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs honored its longtime physical-plant maintenance superintendent Manuel “Manny” Carrar who retired after 28 years of service to the agency.
More than 50 of Carrar’s friends, family and co-workers turned out for the ceremony which included the reading of tributes from the Delaware House of Representatives and Senate and several humorous recollections provided by division colleagues.
In one instance, Gloria Henry, site supervisor of the John Dickinson Plantation, recalled that she had contacted Carrar about a suspicious package left in the plantation’s mailbox which she had subsequently thrown into the trash dumpster. After Carrar’s arrival on the scene—along with a bomb-detection unit—Manny calmly noted, “You know they [the bomb-detection unit] are going to blow up that dumpster.” Taken aback, Henry watched incredulously as a robot rolled up to the dumpster and carefully placed an explosive device inside. After exploding the device, the detection unit investigated the scene and determined that no bomb had been present.
Current physical-plant maintenance supervisor Ed Gillespie recalled how Carrar had instructed maintenance staff on how to gather diagnostic information when calls came in about malfunctioning equipment. Noting that problems have their own characteristic sounds, Carrar cautioned staff to be very careful in differentiating between these noises adding, “plunk-plunk is not clunk-clunk.”
Manny Carrar was born in New York City and moved to Dover in 1970 after his father retired from the U.S. Air Force. After graduating from Dover High School, he attended trades school for welding and HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) and worked for several years in those fields, and in building construction, before joining the division in 1989. As the agency’s physical-plant maintenance supervisor, he was responsible for coordinating the work of a large contingent of trades people, contractors and vendors in maintaining, repairing and preserving the nearly 90 structures administered by the division. In the later years of his career, Manny took the lead in supervising several large-scale projects including the replacement of the roofs of the New Castle Academy and the New Castle Court House Museum, and the restoration of The Old State House in Dover and the Old Sussex County Court House in Georgetown.
In retirement, Manny and his wife Patty will remain in their longtime home in Cheswold, Del. where he will continue to serve as a member of the town’s volunteer fire department. The couple are also looking forward to spending more time with their three children and four grandchildren.