Tony’s Canteen re-opens on campus

Meet Randy – our new Tony

Randy Luba calls his new position “a great adventure” – staff photo

Randy Luba calls his new position “a great adventure” – staff photo

WINNIPEG, MB – A much-loved meeting place at The University of Winnipeg – Tony’s Canteen – has re-opened to serve Collegiate and UWinnipeg students, a decade after it closed its doors.

Tony’s was a central hub of life for decades at United College and the Collegiate, a place where teachers met with their students and each other and held small seminars around the tables. Whenever there were late-night events or students studying for exams, Tony Kozyra kept the canteen open. Despite Tony’s passing in 1965, the canteen remained a fixture on campus until 2007.

Today it re-opened inside the new Leatherdale Hall, with several key supporters on hand for the first breakfast order. UWinnipeg Foundation board members Dr. Jim MacDonald and Dr. Jim Richardson led the successful fundraising campaign to ensure the canteen was brought back to life.

Randy Luba, who has worked at Diversity since 2012, was carefully selected to staff the canteen.

“We all know the story of Tony and so it was important to get the right person for this position,” says Ian Vickers, Diversity’s chief operating officer. “Randy is just one of those guys who cares. He will take good care of patrons.”

Randy has faced significant challenges, which he says makes him appreciate the little things in life a lot more. In 2014, he had heart bypass surgery followed by several years of recuperation. Then in April 2017, his West End home burned to the ground.

“I had just arrived home from Polo Park Shopping Centre around 5 pm and was watching TV and I could see my neighbours gathered outside. They were looking at my roof because it was on fire. There was an electrical shortage in the attic and the whole thing burned and caved in.” Randy spent the following months staying at numerous places and has just moved into an apartment of his own.

Despite the recent hardships, he remains upbeat. “You can turn negative things into positives,” he says. “I don’t take things for granted. I make sure to always say thank you and let people know how much I appreciate them.”

Tony's first patrons - Brian Daly, Jim Macdonald, Annette Trimbee with Randy- staff photo

Tony’s first patrons – Brian Daly, Jim MacDonald, Annette Trimbee with Randy- staff photo

Randy spent the summer of 1981 taking classes at the Collegiate so he could graduate from Daniel McIntyre and feels a strong affinity for the campus. “I really can’t wait to meet all the students and new people,” he says. “I especially like getting to know international students who come with so many interesting life stories.”

Tony’s Canteen is on the second level of $4.5 million Leatherdale Hall which opened in June 2017, made possible by the generous lead gift of $2.5 million from Louise and the late Dr. Douglas Leatherdale. Adjacent to historic Wesley Hall and connected to Convocation Hall, the addition enhances UWinnipeg’s ability to bring people together to share ideas and knowledge. In 1953, a teenaged Dr. Leatherdale moved from his family farm in Morden, Manitoba to attend United College (now UWinnipeg) and maintained a lifelong connection to his alma mater. Passionate about education, the Leatherdale’s have generously contributed more than $6.5 million towards the renewal and construction of essential campus spaces, student supports, and a strengthened academic environment.

The new Tony's Canteen

The new Tony’s Canteen

Original Tony's Canteen

Original Tony’s Canteen

Tony’s Canteen hours of operation are: Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

 

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MEDIA CONTACT

Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E: d.poulin@uwinnipeg.ca

 

 

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