Richard Morse is retiring from being the owner and manager of the Sherwood Hardware and Gardening store in Bergvliet after 27 years.
Mr Morse, 70, is the third owner of the small-scale hardware store on Glen Alpine Way, in Bergvliet. He first came across it in the 1950s as a landscaper.
“I used to buy a lot from the shop as someone who had my own architecture and landscaping business.”
He and his wife, Lesley, decided to buy the store in 1963 when they saw it was up for a sale. The years since have been bliss, says Mr
He has built a special relationship with the community over the years, especially schoolchildren, helping them with science and technology projects.
He helps sketch their projects with them on weekends, and they then buy materials for the projects from the store, and he helps them to make them.
Three school children have worked in his store over the years and one is now studying to be an organ builder so he can build church organs all over Europe.
“It’s hard to say goodbye, especially because I’ve watched these children grow right in front of me,” he says.
“It’s time for someone new to take over. I’m getting old, forgetting a few things, and I’m terrible with these technology things. It’s going to be hard to leave the store but it’s time.
“I’d just like to thank my wife, Lesley, who’s been the background accountant for the business, my employees for all their hard work and the community members for their support over the years.”
Anderson “Shorty” Sodladla, has worked with Mr Morse at his landscaping business since the early 1960s. He described him as a very involved manager and owner.
“He works on the ground with us, he doesn’t just sit in his office. He’s never been that kind of person. He also keeps his promises as the boss. He’s a man of his word. The community is really losing a special person.”’
Mr Morse says he is particularly proud of his workers whom he has groomed to all become managers of the three aisles in the store.
“When I first started working with Shorty, he was fresh out of high school, his mother sent him to me. I’m proud to see his growth. He started as a labourer at my landscaping business but look at him today, he has his own car, he gets bonuses, he is a manager.”
Mr Morse says that he plans to spend the first six months doing absolutely nothing, and then he
will decide what he wants to do