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Getting ready for the next phase of her life

Kathy Vickery retires from the Town of Barrhead after having a career spanning more than four decades
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Long-time Town of Barrhead corporate finance director Kathy Vickery retired after being with the municipality for 41 years.

BARRHEAD- For the first time in a long time Kathy Vickery when a Monday rolls around, she will not be heading into the Town of Barrhead municipal office.

That is because on Nov. 1, Vickery, who most recently served as the municipality's corporate finance director and deputy chief administrative officer (CAO), started the first day of her retirement.

"It was time," she said, during a break in the festivities.

On Oct. 29, to commemorate her 41 years of service, the municipality hosted a function to allow co-workers, friends, family and residents to pass along their best wishes as Vickery enters the next stage of her life.

Vickery, who is originally from Lac Ste Anne, came to Barrhead in 1980 after meeting her husband. At the time, she was working in Edmonton doing accounts receivables.

"I was hired by John Sawka," she said.

Sawka was the long-time secretary-treasurer/town manager for the municipality.

"I started up front in utilities," Vickery said. "We calculated them all by hand, then typed them all individually."

She added it wasn't until about 1983 when the municipality entered the computer age.

However, Vickery said the machine had little resemblance to the computers municipal staff use today.

"I think the computer is at the (Barrhead Centennial Museum). It was a six-foot-tall by three-feet wide, blue monster of a machine," she said, noting the computer originally used five-and-a-half inch floppy disks before transitioning to a reel system for storage.

Over her multi-decade career, Vickery worked in all front office departments from payroll, human resources (HR), accounting, taxes and utilities, before becoming the director of finance which evolved to director of corporate services.

Over that time, she has worked for nine CAOs or town managers and 14-different councils.

"I have been very fortunate," Vickery said. "I have enjoyed working with every council as well as all the CAOs and other staff. I have had good relationships with all of them."

As for why she picked this time in particular to start the next phase of her life, Vickery couldn't point to one thing.

"I just wanted to look at something else," she said. "I've been working hard for many years and now it's time for something different. Maybe travel, relax a bit, and have the chance to do some different things, look at different aspects of my life."

She added Barrhead would always be her home base and that she and her husband had no plans to leave the community.

"Barrhead is our home."

Barry Kerton,


Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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