Father James Conard was born on November 27, 1929 in Green Bay Wisconsin, son of Clifford and Estella Van Den Wymelenberg Conard. After finishing grade school at St. John the Evangelist Parish, he studied at Central Catholic High School and upon graduation, he entered Maryknoll at Lakewood, New Jersey in September 1947.
After ordination on June 9, 1956, he was assigned to work in the Musoma Prefecture in what was then called Tanganyika Territory. His first seventeen years were spent at Iramba Parish on the edge of the Serengeti Plains working with the Bangoreme people.
In Ngoreme he built the first Standard Seven Primary School in 1964. He also built a dispensary, chapels and a new church at Iramba in 1962. The people were mostly herders and hunters. As the primary purpose of the cows was for cow dowry, he introduced Freisian cattle to the area to increase milk production.
From 1973 to 1976, Father Conard worked at Zanaki Mission. Then in 1976 to June 1978 he was Pastor of Mugango Parish on the shores of Lake Victoria. From June 1978 to the present time, he has been Pastor of Kowak Parish where Maryknollers took over from the White Fathers in 1946.
In the late 1980's, Father Conard was instrumental in enlarging the Bedded Dispensary to a thirty-eight bed Health Centre. About 120 to 150 blood transfusions are given each month, mostly to small children with the bad affects of malaria. Most of the money for the 1980's extension came from Japan, along with two workers. Sister Yuriko Kashiwasa, S.S.H. was instrumental in this.
During the last five years much of the time has been used in starting and building Kowak Girls Secondary School. It had its first graduation in October 1995. This boarding school of three hundred and twenty girls was badly needed in a country like Tanzania.
None of this work would have been possible except for the generous grants of many donors from many countries, but especially from Maryknoll. Nor could this have been accomplished without many dedicated personnel with their various abilities. Their names and Societies are too many to be listed here. ASANTE SANA!