Mills Store Serving The Berriwillock Community Since: 1925 !
The shop was built in the late 1890's by Jim Kelly and operated as a billiard room before being converted into a grocery and drapery store. A sewing room operated at the rear of the shop for two years before being closed, the partitions removed and the shop further extended.
Harold Mills Born 1903
Harold Mills, Who was the son of one of the Pioneer families to Berriwillock, In 1925 at the age of 21 Harold decided to buy his own business in town, as there were more than enough workers on his parents farm...
Harold purchased the business from Fred Higman on May 1st 1925 - His 21st Birthday.
In 1931 Harold married Rita Giles from Charlton, Rita had arrived in Berriwillock from Charlton to work as the first female teachers assistant, and was boarding at the local boarding house.
Invitation Courtesy Of Wilma Steele
A short time later Harold & Rita started their family, while also running the store, In 1932 the birth of twin boys Bill & Harold jnr and in 1934 their son Alan was born.
This was also time of extreme difficulty, due to drought and the depression and also a mouse plague where its said that Harold built a double cot for the twin babies that looked like a meat safe to keep the mice from biting them. The effects of the Debt Adjustment Act also were to stay with them for years and it was the quiet determination of Harold Mills that enabled the business to survive.
In 1965 Harold & Rita's youngest son Alan returned to Berriwillock to help run the family business.
The death of Harold Mills in 1978 was huge blow to the family and the community. He was a justice of the peace, had been secretary of the Cemetery Trust for 50 years, a staunch supporter of the golf club, tennis club and bowling club, the Uniting Church and the Masonic Lodge.
With the closure of Lord's Store imminent in 1982, it became obvious to Alan & Mrs Mills that they would need to provide better shopping facilities, so a modern extension was built and opened in 1983. This allowed the expansion of sports, hardware, gifts , clothing and haberdashery lines...
The store traded as the Estate of H. A. Mills until the death of Mrs Mills in 1989.
In 2011 Alan continues to run the family store, just as his father before him, Alan is also a JP and secretary of the Cemetery Trust. Alan has also been involved in local sports and different committees & groups over the years supporting the town & district.
Mills Pictures Courtesy Of Alan Mills