CONCHE, NL – Doris Carroll admits relocating from Toronto to Conche took a little getting used to. However, more than three decades later, she says, the move was the best thing her family has ever done.
“It was quite an adjustment,” Carroll said. “It was hard the first couple of years... But I quickly grew to love this community. I love the people in this community. It’s home.”
Carroll is from St. John’s. She was living in Toronto where she met her husband Gerald Carroll.
They moved their family back to his home community of Conche in 1982.
Shortly after moving to Conche, Carroll opened a general store – Harbour Discount - which she ran for 17 years.
“Anything I didn’t have, I could order it in. I had a lot of community support,” she said.
In addition to the store, Carroll had the contract for the school bus in the area for more than three decades.
Driving the children to school was an amazing experience, she said.
“My husband drove (the bus) for a couple of years then I drove it. When the school closed here in 2016 my contract finished.”
Carroll was always interested in her community. It’s where she and her husband raised their three children.
“Our sons all got a wonderful education here. They are on their own now and have their own jobs and families.”
While she had an interest in serving on council for many years, Carroll waited until she gave up the store before putting her name on the ballot.
She served on council for 12 years – four as councillor, four as deputy mayor and the last four as mayor.
“I just wanted to help my community in any way I could... and our council is what’s keeping the heart of the community here,” she said.
Carroll didn’t run in 2017. She stepped aside for family reasons. However, her passion for and pride in her community hasn’t wavered.
“We’ve been fortunate because we have a plant that’s been in operation even since the moratorium. It will soon be setting up again now,” she said.
Residents of Conche have also found employment at the hospital in Roddickton, she said.
From whales to walking trails, Conche is also a great tourist attraction, Carroll said.
“We also get a lot of people coming here to see the French Shore Tapestry.”
Carroll said she is also happy to see that paving will begin on the road between Roddickton and Conche.
Route 434 is one of the roads slated for funding for paving in 2018-19 under the Department of Transportation and Works’ updated five-year provincial road plan.
Carroll is humble when asked about her contributions to council over the years.
She is pleased, she said, that the town took over the old school property during her time on council.
“At least now if they decide they want to sell it, that’s money in for the town,” she said.
As a volunteer, Carroll encourages others to put their names forward for council.
“We need more young people to come forward,” she said. “Everybody needs to give so much on behalf of their own communities. Not just for yourself but for your entire community.”
While humble about her own contributions to her community, Carroll has no trouble voicing her opinion on the community that she loves deeply and will always call home.
“You couldn’t ask for a better community. There’s none better than Conche,” she said.
The Northern Pen’s recurring feature looks at the lives of seniors along the Northern Peninsula and southern Labrador. If you know a local senior with an interesting story to tell, email or call the Northern Pen: firstname.lastname@example.org or 709-454-2191.