One could argue, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, it’s about ‘dam’ time Linda Halliday retired.
The longtime public affairs officer with Ontario Power Generation, who carved a niche for herself during a 30-year career at the provincial utility, officially hung up her boots Wednesday and retired.
She’s been the local face of OPG and the R.H. Saunders Generating Station – popularly known around Cornwall as the “power dam” – during most of that time, and Halliday said the decision is bittersweet.
“I’m really going to miss all the people,” she said in an interview. “There’s some amazing people at OPG and from the city too.
“But you miss the people more than the bricks and mortar.”
One could hardly find a more concrete example of bricks and mortar than the power dam.
Times have certainly changed since Halliday accepted a job as an energy information centre supervisor in the early 1980s. Back then one could still visit the dam itself, including panoramic vistas from the observation deck high above the roiling S. Lawrence River.
Following 9-11, security conccerns around Ontario power plants, including dams and nuclear facilities, forced visitors to move off-site.
Halliday said the creation of a visitors’ centre, downstream of the dam itself, is an excellent way to re-connect with the public following years of locked gates.
“Building this has given us the ability to access the public, and it gives an opportunity for people to see OPG,” she said.
Halliday, a Brit who was born in Oswaldtwistle in Northwestern England, moved to Canada to study in British Columbia in the late 1960s. She made another move to Montreal in 1976 and studied at Concordia University before settling in Cornwall in the early 1980s.
Her successor at OPG will be Jennifer Gardiner, who can be reached at 613-433-9673 (ext. 3350) or by e-mail at email@example.com.