Rona closures surprise councillors

They may not be able to do anything to forestall it, but members of Conception Bay South council were publicly lamenting Tuesday the coming closure of most of the Rona building supplies stores in this province, including the ones at Kelligrews and Paradise.

"I think it's a very, very sad day for the business community of our town to lose a long lasting business that was here for so many years, especially under the old name of Chester Dawe Ltd," said Deputy Mayor Richard Murphy.

The American-owned conglomerate is closing six stores in this province, among some 27 across the country, near the end of January.

"It's going to be a devastating blow for the employees of that organization and it's going to have an economic impact on our town as well,” said Murphy. “So we wish all of the employees of Rona all the best and hopefully they'll be able to get through this."

Ward 1 councillor Darrin Bent echoed those sentiments. "It affects the workers here directly and their families," said the councillor. "I know a couple of Rona workers who don't work in CBS, but who live in CBS and travel to Rona every day and have always been very positive about the operation and the work that they did... I hope that some way or somehow these talented people who work at these stores will be able catch flight with other businesses or maybe something might even come along to replace them. But it's a devastating thing to see something big like this happen and I hope that this is the need of it, that's it's not an economic turn for some of these businesses."

Mayor Terry French noted the company, especially through its earlier incarnation as Chester Dawe Ltd., has a long association with the people of Conception Bay South.

"It shocks us all," said French. "When you think of certain names in this community, you think of Chester Dawe - the Fagans and the Busseys and the Morgans and the Butlers and the Rideouts - I can't tell you the number of people from Conception Bay South, Foxtrap and Seal Cove in particular, who worked at Chester Dawe through the years. So, I certainly want to sympathize with the families that are affected and wish them all the best."

Posted on November 26, 2018 .