Rhodesian Association of Western Australia

[LOGO] Bundu Times April/May 1996

Our Kind of People

Greg and Ros McCarthy

When we took over Conways from Michael McAdam we were very conscious of having a tradition to maintain. The name Conways is synonymous with biltong and borewors, sosaties and peri peri and the mere mention of the name has always been enough to trigger off a nostalgic salivary response and inspire a drive in a trusty Peugeot 504 or Renault to the Orrong Road shrine.

Every ex Southern African can tell an "it's a small world" story of a coincidence which has brought them into contact with someone from home and we are no exception. When Ros was conducting a course at the Perth branch of MLC a year before we moved to Perth, she met a Rhodesian lady called Sheila who mentioned that her husband Mick, was a butcher who specialised in biltong and 'wors. Ros's eyes lit up at the mention of the magical words, "biltong and 'wors" and she told Sheila that her husband was also a butcher and that they were planning to move to Perth. Sheila indicated that when they arrived in Perth she'd see if there was any work at Mick's shop because Syd, the gentleman working for them was planning (conveniently) to retire.

Sheila also spoke of her three daughters and, in particular her daughter Sandra, who lived in Thailand. She sounded very familiar to Ros, who had friends from Harare, living in Brisbane (Craig and Debbie Dakers), who had also spoken of their friends, Sandra, her husband and kids, who were living in Thailand. Soon Sheila and Ros were swapping stories and discussing mutual acquaintances from Rhodesia.

A year later and we had settled in Ardross and I was working for Mick. We renewed acquaintance with many old friends from our days in Mutare and it wasn't long before the opportunity came up to purchase Conways from Mick, who had decided to sell due to ill health.

Our connections are with the beautiful city of Mutare and it is always difficult to get the dust of Africa off our "vellies". Ros' sister, Elaine, is married to Keith Rutherford and lives in Inyanga with their two kids, while her brother, Vince (Zoric), married an Australian and is now working on contract in Jo'burg, also with two kids. We're planning to go back for a holiday in March to re-dust our vellies!

Ros arrived in Australia in 1983 and we met in Sydney - it was a case of "love at first sight"! We returned to Zimbabwe in 1986 and travelled extensively around the country, re-acquainting ourselves with Kariba, the Falls, Hwange and also many parts of South Africa.

When we returned to Australia we stopped over in Perth and fell in love with it. We bought a block of land at Ocean Reef and decided to settle here in 1991 after we had married in Sydney. We haven't looked back since and now have many wonderful friends, both Australian and ex African. Every day we meet new people from Africa and Conways has certainly widened our network of friends.

Conscious of the need to "maintain the tradition" we will be opening a new shop in April in the Wembley Shopping Centre behind the Wembley Hotel, opposite the now famous "Cape to Cairo". I'll be running the new shop to cater for all the "north of the river" people, while Mick will run the Welshpool Conways for the "southerners". CONWAYS BUTCHERY will be opening at the Wembley Shopping Centre on Monday 15th April 1996 and hope you'll support us at our new shop and please tell all your friends.

Greg McCarthy

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