--- July 2 Leader Post, By: Rachel Psutka---
Regina businessman and philanthropist Paul Hill has an extra two initials to add onto his name, thanks to a Canada Day appointment to the Order of Canada.
Hill, who is the chairman, president and CEO of The Hill Companies, said he is honoured to be recognized for his achievements as a business leader and contributions to community and education initiatives. “I know that there are many, many great Canadians across this country that have received the honour and they all are very well-deserving, so I feel privileged to be part of that group that’s being honoured by my country,” Hill said.
The Hill family’s name is scattered all over Regina - from the Frederick W. Hill Mall, named after Paul’s father, to the nearby Hill Towers and the Paul J. Hill School of Business, which was renamed such after a $10-million donation to the University of Regina in 2007.
But he is most proud of helping underprivileged people in the community. He was inspired to give back after an encounter with Mother Teresa in India. “She said, ‘I don’t need your money, and I really don’t need your help. What I really need you to do is go back to your own community and give of yourself and your resources to the greatest need that exists there,’” Hill recalled.
In addition to other donations - such as providing funding for youth to attend Athol Murray College of Notre Dame - Hill in 2011 established Mother Teresa Middle School, a Jesuit-fostered academy that brings in children from Regina‘s inner-city to provide small class sizes and dedicated education.
“Those kids, some of them, when they arrive have moved 12 times. They may move four or five times even during the course of the year. Several have parents who have died in the last year,” Hill said. “But these kids come into Grade 6, and by the time they come out they not only have the fundamentals and the tools they need to get through high school and post-secondary, but they also get the motivation.”
All of his philanthropic efforts - including donations to the new Mosaic Stadium - could not have been possible without the work of his father and grandfather before him, as well as the people who surround him in business, Hill said. “What I’ve been able to do in my lifetime is make a significant contribution, but it’s not just me,” he said. “I may have some good ideas and I may be able to help facilitate, but none of these things happen without a lot of dedicated people who really do the work every day.”
Hill, who also holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Regina and the University of Western Ontario, holds his newest appointment as the highest he has received. The whole family - Hill’s wife, Carol, five children, and soon-to-be 11 grandchildren - will be in Ottawa for an induction ceremony next year, he added.
Hill was among 100 individuals named to the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston on Wednesday. Of those, two have been named Companions of the Order of Canada, 11 named as Officers of the Order of Canada, and 87, including Hill, named Members of the Order of Canada. More than 6,000 people have been invested into the Order of Canada in the past 45 years.