May 21, 2015
With this article, PocketNews is thrilled to launch Karma Korner, a place for public recognition of good deeds and acts of kindness. Because, yes, they are news-worthy pieces too! -Britt
There’s a shining star at Home Hardware. Sooke PocketNews learned about Hugh Mills because of the number of people singing his praises on Social Media.
Hugh first came to the attention of Sooke PocketNews because of a posting from Maggy Reynolds, the administrator of the “Sooke Traffic Reports & Discussions” group on Facebook.
“I spend a lot of time in Home Hardware, and this one older gentleman has simply amazed me,” writes Maggy Reynolds. “He’s over in the back with the wood and other products outside. We needed some peat moss, he wouldn’t let me pick any of it up, and he got to talking the other day and this man has been working since he was 14 years old, never plans on retiring.”[sam id=”9″ codes=”true”]”I find that to be one super amazing person,” continued Maggy in her post celebrating Hugh, “I admire this man!!!”
And that just got the social media frenzy rolling. Other’s were quick to add to the litany of kind words.
(Because the Traffic Group is a closed group, we are keeping their identities to their initials.)
GG is another fan, one who calls Home Hardware “one of my favourite hang-outs” writes, “The guy with ‘the hat’? Yes… he is amazing! So are just about all the staff at HH. We’re lucky to have a such a great store, staffed by such terrific people!”
It’s the easy friendliness that creates community, like an easy smile or a constant wave, and Hugh is always ready with both.
“That man cut me some wood one day, and was fabulously helpful,” notes CW. “Now I wave at him when I pass, and he waves back.”
“He’s really nice!” Agrees JB, and PF adds, “He’s especially friendly and helpful.”
A personal insight was offered by PQ, “Hugh is a great guy,” writes PQ. “He teases me every time I go into the yard,” adding that Hugh loves French vanilla coffee… “so if anyone wants to bring him coffee you now know what he likes.”
Simply put, “Hugh is one of the best!!” – MP
Meeting Hugh Mills
So we at Sooke PocketNews just had to go out and meet Hugh in person. We found him at the back of Home Hardware.
Happy to speak with us (me, actually), Hugh confirmed that he has been working since he graduated from Grade 8 at 14. He has worked since then, busy at a range of jobs including a prison guard, security duty, and at a BC sawmill. He is now only 78 years young.
When asked if he had any plans for retirement, he answered with an easy smile on his face and a shining twinkle in his eye, “Not until I get old!”
Hugh’s impact reaches beyond where he his workplace. He quietly contributes as a community volunteer.
“Hugh never brags about how much community volunteering that he does and he done lots for the Sooke Community Association as well,” notes PQ.
Another commenter adds, “I had the pleasure of meeting Hugh while we were both volunteering for the Christmas hamper distribution. As someone who is patiently waiting for a hip replacement he was a big inspiration,” says TD. “Some days it feels like I will never know what being pain free and productive again will feel like and then I think of Hugh and I know I can do it.
Hugh confirmed that he used to volunteer with the Sooke Community Association, and he and his wife used to manage the flats, aka the Sooke River Camp ground. He has also been helping out with the Christmas Food Hampers, which he has been doing for 18 years now. This coming Christmas will be his 19th year.
Appreciations extended to the staff at Home Hardware
In this flood of compliments for Hugh, many took the time to mention the exceptional staff throughout the store, some mentioned by name (notably, Ted is “a gem”) and others by memorable service.
The love for the local store is best summed by by PQ, who summarizes, “I have been dealing with Home Hardware since I moved to Sooke 18 years ago, and I have gotten better deals [here] than any big box store in town. They have always matched the sale price or even went below the box store prices. The staff are great in all departments.”
In a nutshell, we have a store filled with superstars in our midst. “Hugh rocks!!!” expounds JM. “The customer service king!! Such a great guy & happy to have him as a good friend. Keep up the great work Hugh & all the HH staff.”
And what does Hugh think of all of this? He was certainly pleased and surprised to hear that his presence had such an impact. He is also quick to add that he is just one of many, and that “most of the crew in this place are excellent.”
Hugh enjoys his job, the team he works with, and the clientele.
“I look forward to coming in to work every day.”
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