KILLALOE – There are two things that Dan Conway will be looking forward to this Sunday – watching the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens go head-to-head in New Orleans for the 47th Super Bowl, and resting in the satisfaction that he will not have to return to work on Monday.
After nearly 34 years with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), Conway will retire from his post as manager of the Killaloe branch on January 31. The momentous occasion has been marked on Conway’s office calendar for weeks with a red smiley face. To him, the day will come with mixed emotions.
“First thing I’m going to do – my number one plan – is to go down to Cuba for a week. Other than that, I’m not going to do anything until I’m bored,” Conway said. “Toni, my wife, likely already has a list of chores for me to do.And as long as she is still working, I’ve got to start cooking or she’ll toss me [out],” he added with a laugh. “I think it’s amazing what I can do with Kraft Dinner but she’s a gourmet cook.”
Conway, who was born and raised in Barry’s Bay, first took a part-time position with his hometown LCBO in 1975. He later moved to Ottawa for a full-time gig at the Carling/Woodroffe branch, and later with an LCBO at Hampton Park Plaza. There, he recalls coming up against the dangerous side of the business.
“When I was working in Ottawa, I got held up twice. Once when two guys came into my store with balaclavas and sawed-off shotguns. Another time, I was working the cash and a guy held a gun to my head,” he said, while emphasizing his preference for rural living.
“In the city, you never really know the people. Here you get to know everyone. I even know if they’re Leafs fans or not,” Conway joked, while pointing to some Montreal Canadiens memorabilia on his desk. “I still serve them, even though it goes against my better judgement.”
In 1991, after getting married, Conway took a transfer back to the area and began working for the LCBO in Bancroft. He remained there until 2000 when a manager’s position came up in Killaloe.
“I was fortunate to get back here. My mom was born and raised in Killaloe and I played sports and went to school with everybody here,” he said. “It was really like coming back home.”
When asked what he will miss most about his time in Killaloe, Conway said he will fondly remember his customers and the relationships he developed within the Madawaska Valley. He also relayed his appreciation for being able to raise his two daughters, Leslie and Allie, in the area where he grew up.
“I’m going to miss the people the most. I’ve also had some really great, loyal staff over the years, which has made my job more enjoyable,” he said. “I think I will be emotional about my retirement once it all hits me. Right now I’m living for the moment.”
As an avid member of the Killaloe and Area Lions Club, Garnet Kranz has helped to organize numerous functions within the Village of Killaloe. During a telephone interview last week, Kranz expressed his gratitude to Conway for his many years of service.
Story continues in the January 30, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.