BY BONNIE WHITEHEAD
SPECIAL TO EXPRESS
CLIFFORD – The news of Karen Dowler’s retirement on Dec. 31 from the Royal Bank of Canada’s Clifford branch didn’t ring true with a number of clients and customers. Even with the notice announcing her retirement and an invitation to a celebration on Dec. 21, it was difficult to imagine Dowler wanting to be anywhere else except behind the desk at the bank.
When the doors opened at 10 a.m., well wishers arrived with flowers and gifts. They shared stories, reminisced over the photo album, signed their name to the keepsake frame, extended messages of congratulations, and offered a hug or handshake. They lamented Dowler leaving, as years of their banking business had been entrusted to her care. Even the Brinks truck drivers stopped by for a piece of cake and a hug. They will miss her as well.
Branch manager Marc Leblond announced, “The staff of the RBC Clifford, Harriston, and Listowel branches wish Karen Dowler all the best on her retirement. We thank Karen for over 33 years of dedication and service provided to the Clifford community and RBC clients. We will miss Karen very much, but also look forward to continuing to provide the same great service to the Clifford community that our clients have become accustomed to at RBC. All the best, Karen!”
All afternoon, Dowler and Leblond, along with staff Debbie Richardson and Ann Dowler, served cake and punch to everyone who stopped by to offer best wishes.
Dowler will continue to serve the community in her role as administrator for Jamesway Manor, as well as her many volunteer activities in the Clifford Recreation Committee, Clifford Horticultural Society, and Clifford Food Bank.
Dowler played a major role in the lives of people in the community through the bank, but you could count on her for more than cashing a cheque or offering a great quote on investing. Her enthusiasm for her clients and community extended to donning a wig and dress for Halloween and parades, serving hot dogs at the bank or at the Earth Day cleanup party, welcoming visitors to Rotaryfest or the arena, packing food hampers for the food bank, flipping burgers for hockey tournaments, being awarded the Lions Citizen of the Year, and taking an active role in saving the arena for future generations. And children will recall the kind woman who offered them a lollipop while their parents did their banking.
Karen Dowler will be sorely missed at the bank, but she is not leaving the community anytime soon. You have her guarantee and stamp of approval on that matter.