37-year Hamilton Bros staffer retires
by Joe Hamilton
Hamilton Bros held a small luncheon on Oct. 30 to celebrate the retirement of long-time employee Michael Joyce.
Joyce was born and raised in Montreal and began travelling the world in his early 20s. He ended up working construction in Calgary, Alberta where he met his wife-to-be Gladys Ferguson. He and Gladys moved back east to Ontario and purchased Gladys’ father’s house in Badjeros.
Joyce began working at Hamilton Bros in Glen Huron at the age of 28, starting with odd jobs around the stores and farms. One of the first big jobs he remembers is digging the phone line by hand from County Road 124 down to the stores in the Glen.
Joyce helped run the broiler chicken operation for a while before he and Gladys moved to Brechin to live at the Hamilton’s cottage on Lake Simcoe. He ran the Brechin feed mill and store, which was owned by Hamilton Bros at the time. After four months in Brechin, Joyce was called back to the Farm and Garden store in the Glen. Frank Hamilton asked him if he could manage the store and run the day-to-day operations, and without hesitation, Joyce said, “Oh Ya.”
Joyce never looked back from here. He and Gladys raised two children who are now in their late twenties. Many friendships developed over the next 30 years with customers, salesmen and staff. Once their children were old enough to stay home alone, Joyce’s world travels began again, bringing Gladys along with him. Gladys fell in love with travelling the world also and every vacation they took ended them up in another part of the world. When Mike got home from vacation, everyone was excited to hear all the “weird and wonderful places” they went. This included staff, customers and salesmen. It was always story time.
Over the last 37 years Joyce has always been a familiar face at Hamilton Bros. His joking personality and friendship will be missed by everyone. We all wish him well in his retirement.
Photo: John Hamilton (from left), Joe Hamilton, Jamie Hamilton, Fred Hamilton, Michael Joyce Mark Hannon, Johnny Hamilton, Jack Shields, Don Prentice.