Ucluelet’s Mills family had reason to beam as brightly as their immaculately decorated home on Saturday night as their family business On the Edge Roofing was announced the winner of the local chamber of commerce’s holiday decor contest.
“We heard that there was a competition and, as soon as there is a competition, we go overboard as much as we can,” Shaun Mills told the Westerly News. “I’m hoping the competition and the lights inspire other people around town, and the district, to decorate our streets, get more lights and get more people behind it…I’d like to see the whole town put this stuff up.”
He added making the town look festive is an important tradition to keep, especially for local youth.
“It’s just Christmas. A lot of our culture is kind of disappearing on us and it’s just important to make sure that it sticks around for the next generation for kids,” he said.
The Mills bought their Bay Street home eight years ago after moving to Ucluelet from Edmonton and were reminded why after a thoughtless theft led to a heartwarming end last week when roughly 30 lights were stolen off the Mills’ holiday display.
Shaun posted what happened on social media and, along with receiving a heartwarming response from community members, he was awed to discover the lost lights replaced overnight.
“Someone had come by and put a whole bunch of lights back in and left a little bucket of lights sitting by the garage door,” he said.
“It’s a great community we live in…You, kind of, get bummed out when you go through the work and someone comes and takes [the lights] away and then, when all of a sudden they just reappear, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s Christmas.”
Mills said he has been in the roofing business for over 15 years and recently rebranded to On the Edge Roofing after seeing significant expansion in his local business.
“I was just using it as a job more than anything and, in the last couple years, it’s getting more known and it’s getting busier and busier,” he said. “Last year, I made a decision to take it from a job to a career and hopefully expand here and make a go at it.”
That decision has paid dividends as, he said, On the Edge Roofing now employs four full-time employees during the winter months and expands to about eight during the summer.
Mills said he has been a member of the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce for three years and has been delighted to see the changes brought in by the chamber’s recently hired administrator Lara Kemps.
“She has just been amazing,” he said noting the chamber played a key role in the Harbour Lights Sail Past and Breakfast with Santa events along with the holiday decorating contest.
“They are just going full bore with it. It’s important that the community gets behind it…It’s only going to encourage people to shop local and spend local. The chamber being behind this is just amazing. It’s a great feeling and a great job they are doing right now and for the future.”