Our people in profile: Stores clerk Gordon Mahar celebrates 50 years of service and ‘lifelong friendships’
After 50 years of working as a stores clerk in the pharmacy at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII, Gordon Mahar says he’s ‘not sure when he will retire.’
Mahar began his career in 1969 at the age of 21 working in the pharmacy department.
“Back then you could get a job without your high school diploma,” he said. “I had worked in a pharmacy for a few years so I decided to apply for a job in the hospital – needless to say it worked out.”
Mahar didn’t know much about drugs and it took him some time to learn all of the different names and how the systems worked.
“When I started there was no formal training like there is now,” he said. “I had to teach myself about the drugs and how to properly distribute them; times have really changed.”
Formal training hasn’t been the only big change that Mahar has seen over the past 50 years working in the hospital.
“Technology has been a big change because I used to do everything with paper and pen but now everything is on the computer.”
Early on in his pharmacy career, Marhar could often be found on stage in the evenings.
He had a second career as a musician and spent many nights playing in a successful band called Kid Cadillac.
“Back in 1987 I was contacted by a friend who asked me if I wanted to start a ‘50s band. The time was right for it because a lot of people were in to ‘50s music and we ended up being pretty successful.”
Kid Cadillac started off by playing in small bars across Halifax and quickly gained popularity.
“Hotels started asking us to come play and soon we started going to New Brunswick to plays gigs,” recalls Mahar. “I remember one night we had a show in Shediac on the beach and we roared in to town in my LeBaron convertible – we felt pretty cool.”
Mahar reminisces fondly on the past 50 years.
“Now that I’m 71 I can’t believe I’ve done this job for 50 years,” he said. “I’ve made lifelong friendships but I also really enjoy working with the younger folks because they keep me feeling young.”
“I’ve had some really good times here and learned a lot about people.”
Thank you Gordon, for your 50 years of service!