Years involved in industry: 45
- Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association Chairman 8 years
- Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association Director 31 years
- Greyhound Racing Control Board Member
- Successfully owned, bred and trained greyhounds for over 40 years
Bill Conroy became Chairman of the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association in 1979 in the days when thousands would go through the turnstiles at the club’s home base at Olympic Park in Melbourne’s CBD. Conroy held the post for eight years before ill health forced his retirement in 1987. “As Chairman of the MGRA he was completely impartial, straight down the line”, said John Stephens, who was on the MGRA committee under Conroy’s reign. “He was a gentleman quiet, unassuming and considered. I never heard him speak ill of anyone”, he added.
Stephens, who is now the CEO of Greyhound Racing Victoria, said there was one occasion however, where he witnessed an uncharacteristic outburst from Conroy. And unfortunately for Stephens, he was the person on the end of his wrath. “I knew Bill reasonably well over a long period and I only saw him get angry once, and that was with me. It happened while he was MGRA Chairman and I had been assigned with the job of organising promotional activities for the Club’s Silver Anniversary. I worked frantically for about six weeks and then presented my plan to the MGRA Committee”, Stephens said.
“One of my ‘bright’ ideas was to name all the races on the night in question after people who had been great contributors to the MGRA. I may have been a little insistent that this be the path we take and this led to Bill banging his hand on the table and screaming ‘this won’t be happening while I’m Chairman.’ I was bewildered until he explained his reasoning was ‘it is not because of the people you put in [name races after], but because of those you leave out’.