Experienced handyman offers services

KateLynn Slaamot, Reporter

Photo by KateLynn Slaamot/NLJ

John Murray, former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who moved to the Weston County area eight years ago, offers quality handyman services to the community. Murray’s goal is to be reliable and see his work to completion.

John Murray, Canada native who moved to the Buckhorn area about eight years ago, has been working as a handyman for several years and wants the community to know that he offers quality services. John the Handyman will do all sorts of jobs, such as kitchen and bathroom remodels, flooring, minor plumbing and electrical work, tiling and much more. Murray can even do complete remodel work on houses that need to be gutted and redone. 

Murray’s handyman experience goes far beyond the six years he has been offering services in this area. He said he has always been interested in hands-on labor and feels a sense of accomplishment when he does a job well. 

A native of Canada, Murray was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from the time he was 19 years old until his retirement in 2014, working as a Mountie for about 35 years. 

His work schedule was usually four days on and four days off, which allowed him time to do handyman jobs in Canada. He wanted something to keep him busy, he said.

Murray laughed. 

“Four days is a long time to sit around and do nothing,” he said. “So a lot of police officers, when they work
those kinds of shifts usually have … a second thing to keep them from getting too bored, so I’ve been doing home repairs for years.” 

What brought him to this area, Murray said, was his love of the mountainous region, and especially of the Black Hills and their unique beauty and history. He just knew he wanted to retire here. 

“This is unique. The Black Hills are unique, they just are. And I think I like the history of the Black Hills as much as I appreciate the Black Hills themselves,” Murray said. 

When he first moved here after retirement, Murray said, he decided to take a couple of years hiatus before getting back into the swing of handyman work, although he is still part time. 

“I’ve always been very good with my hands. I’m kind of one of those old school guys, that … when you do something with your hands, you stand back and look at it; there’s a sense of pride and, you know, appreciation with what you’ve built or done,” Murray said. 

And that’s exactly what Murray’s goal is in his work — to bring quality work to his clients. It’s also important to him to be reliable and show up because so many contractors fail to show up for their customers, Murray said. 

“It’s hard to find contractors that will show up,” Murray said, noting that many times, clients just appreciate a contractor who will come and make sure a job gets finished. 

“If I say I’m going to be there, I’m going to be there. I do quality work,” Murray added. 

Perhaps Murray’s eagerness to do a job well and always see it to completion partly comes from his line of work. As a Mountie, with several of those years spent deeply undercover, seeing a project to the end was of great importance. That kind of dependability is a must in his former line of work, he said. 

“I did all kinds of duties through my 35 years, and towards the end of my career, I worked for about 12 years in the undercover program,” Murray said. 

Some of his undercover time was spent in drug sections, while other times he worked in a homicide unit where he would spend months
of undercover time with murderers the police were targeting. 

“I’ve done it all. I had a great career,” Murray said. “I did a lot of search warrants, a lot of kicking in doors. I did a lot in the undercover world …, played all sorts of roles from beggar to hitman, and everything in between.” 

But perhaps the most important thing to him, and why he chose to be a police officer, he said, was to protect people and take care of them. People are a country’s most valuable resource, he said, and it’s an important job to be part of making sure they are safe. 

And now, while he might not be serving the public as a police officer anymore, he is still serving the people in the area for their home repair needs. Murray can be contacted at (307) 949-0173. 

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