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Inverurie practice manager to retire after 32 years with opticians

By Kyle Ritchie

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An Inverurie opticians is set to bid farewell to its practice manager who is retiring after 32 years of service.

Margaret Bruce will leave Hughes, Macdonald and Davidson Opticians on Thursday, April 29, after decades of assisting customers in the town.

During her time at the business, which is based at the Garioch Centre, Constitution Street, she has seen a lot from the firm's humble beginnings to a global pandemic.

Mrs Bruce had planned to train as a nurse but when getting measured for her uniform realised she was doing the wrong thing as she hated the sight of blood.

She then moved into eye care, starting her career in an optician in Aberdeen, where she began to learn her trade.

She moved to a local optician in Inverurie to be nearer home and met new graduates John Hughes and Donnie Davidson.

In 1988, Hughes, Macdonald and Davidson Opticians opened their doors in Peterhead, and in Inverurie the following year.

During this time, they approached Mrs Bruce to work with them in Inverurie.

Margaret Bruce is retiring after 32 years with Hughes, Macdonald and Davidson opticians in Inverurie.
Margaret Bruce is retiring after 32 years with Hughes, Macdonald and Davidson opticians in Inverurie.

She said: “Knowing John and Donnie, I didn’t hesitate. I knew their work ethos and the great banter that came along with it.

"I started out in Peterhead learning the ropes for a few months before the opening of the opticians in Inverurie.

“It was all about teamwork, we were a small team and everyone just got stuck in.

"Technology has made a huge difference over the years. Your examination may be the same, but our opticians can now gather so much information from an image of the eye that helps identify and treat eye disease earlier.

"Also when I started out the lenses in my glasses were so thick. Thankfully over the years advancing technology has made them thinner, which makes them look so much better.

"Trends also change, but they are cyclical, and styles come in and out of fashion, sometimes I recognise new frames from ones I had back in the day."

She added that there had been many stand-out moments during her career.

"There is too many to pick just one, but when patients ask for you by name, because they trust your advice when choosing a frame, it gives you a great feeling of satisfaction," she said.

"The pandemic has been one of the most challenging times. The directors put in place a plan to ensure each stage in our patient’s visit is safe, including wearing PPE, making sure the practice is cleaned down after each patient and ensuring everyone follows the new procedures."

The decision to leave was a difficult one for Mrs Bruce and her time in lockdown influenced her decision.

She said: "When you’ve been with the same company for such a long time, spending as much time with the team as you do with your own family, it makes it a huge decision.

"But being at home during the Covid-19 lockdown gave me time to think and probably influenced my decision. Learning to let go of control at work and spend my time on other things, helped me make the decision.

"I am going to miss my colleagues and I have been very lucky to have had such supportive bosses, who have all been great.

"I’m also going to miss my patients, who have been too kind, leaving cards and gifts, thanking me for taking care of their families over the years, which is very touching.”

Retirement will see her get to spend more time with her granddaughter Mia, enjoy weekend trips with her family and friends, catch up on reading and she is looking to get a dog.

The opticians said: "Hughes, Macdonald and Davidson in Inverurie will not be the same without Margaret greeting patients as they arrive and after 32 years, we say a fond farewell.

"Margaret has been great leader, who has gone above and beyond for her team.

"We are all very grateful for the work and dedication she has shown over the years and will be sad to see her go. We will miss her but wish her all the happiness for the future."

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