Greg and Ros McCarthy took over Conways from Michael (Mick) McAdam in 1991 and were very conscious of having a tradition to maintain. The name Conways is synonymous with Biltong, Boerewors, Droewors, Sosaties and Peri-Peri chicken 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. The Conways name and butchery has been at the Orrong Road, Welshpool, premises for over 25 years with Mick originally coming from Ireland to Australia via Rhodesia/Zimbabwe where he ran a butcher shop in Mabelriegn in Harare for many years.
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 Greg and Ros 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 Sid, 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 (now Zimbabwe).
A year later and Greg and Ros had settled in Ardross and Greg was working for Mick. Greg and Ros renewed acquaintance with many old friends from our days in Mutare (Umtali) and it wasn’t long before the opportunity came up to purchase Conways from Mick, who had decided to sell due to ill health. Mick is now happily retired playing golf and occasionally can be seen at the shop catching up with everyone.
Ros’s (nee Zoricic) connections are with the beautiful city of Mutare, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) where she went to school in the 70’s and it is always difficult to get the dust of Africa off our “vellies”. Ros’ sister, Elaine, is married to Keith Rutherfoord and lived in Mutare, Inyanga and Harare with their two kids for many years, while her brother, Vince Zoricic, married an Australian and has worked on contract in Jo’burg, Durban, Harare and London, also with two kids. Elaine and her family have since immigrated to Australian and now live in Perth, while Vince and his family are living in sunny Queensland.
Ros arrived in Australia in 1983 and met Greg in Sydney - it was a case of “love at first sight”! Greg & Ros first returned to Zimbabwe in 1986 and numerous times over the years up until 2000, travelling extensively around Zimbabwe, re-acquainting them with Lake Kariba, Lake Kyle, Inyanga and the “Falls” (Victoria Falls), Hwange and also many parts of South Africa including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban and Johannesburg.
On returned to Australia after their first trip Greg and Ros stopped over in Perth and fell in love with it. They bought a block of land at Ocean Reef and decided to settle here in 1991 after they were married in Harbord, Sydney NSW. They haven’t looked back since and now have many wonderful friends here in Perth. Every day they meet new people from Africa and Conways has certainly widened their network of friends.
Conscious of the need to “maintain the tradition” Greg & Ros supply many outlets in Perth including the now famous “Cape to Cairo” Southern African grocery shop located in Wembley Conways now carries a limited stock of Cape to Cairo groceries.
Conways Butchery Beef Sausage recipe has previously been a finalist “Sausage King” at the Perth Easter Show.
Proprietor: Greg McCarthy