Mohammad Shafi’s inventory of shoes that are being donated to the Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army. (Submitted photo)

Mohammad Shafi’s inventory of shoes that are being donated to the Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army. (Submitted photo)

Retiring B.C. shoe store owner donates his entire inventory to Salvation Army

Shafi, 91, retires after more than 70 years in the business

Mohammad Shafi wants to see the shoe on the other foot. As many of them as possible.

After more than 70 years in the shoe business, Shafi has decided to retire at the age of 91.

Shafi, or ‘Mo’, has operated shoe stores in Parksville (most recently Ortho Depot Inc) and Nanaimo. With his retirement, he has decided to donate his remaining inventory to the Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army to support the community and help individuals walk in comfort.

Shafi was born in Pakistan in 1929 and learned how to make shoes when he was just 15. He lived in England for 11 years before moving to Canada in 1964 and operating several businesses in the greater Toronto area. After his wife June retired, they moved to Parksville in 2005 to be closer to their son and his family.

Shafi opened his first store in B.C. at Wembley Mall in Parksville, followed by a second location in Nanaimo. He ran these stores for more than a decade before deciding to focus more on the Parksville store.

READ MORE: Salvation Army exceeds fundraising goals in Parksville Qualicum Beach

One of Shafi’s customers was Major Norm Hamelin, Corps Officer of the Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army. The two became friends and in one of their conversations, spoke about retirement. Shafi said that if he ever retired, the Salvation Army would get what was left of his inventory and he delivered on his promise.

“We are deeply honoured for this gift of specialty shoes, normally priced expensively, will be available at reasonable prices for our community”, says Bonnie Brown, Salvation Army business manager. “The donation of Mo’s stock will help contribute to raising essential funds to support our local soup kitchen and food bank, which continue to feed and support the more than 2,000 people relying on Salvation Army services each month in our community.”

The shoes will be available on Salvation Army Thrift Store shelves in Parksville and Qualicum Beach as of Thursday, March 11.

Mo and June love the Parksville area and continue to spend time with their growing family whenever possible. Both thanked their many customers, suppliers and friends for the many years of helping them with their business.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

BusinessCharity and DonationsParksvillevancouverisland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents of Golf Lane say they are tired of their houses and vehicles being hit by golf balls from the nearby Maple Ridge Golf Course, and worry someone is going to get killed by a wayward drive. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Maple Ridge Golf Course neighbours say they need protection

City willing to explore solutions says director of parks

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Ineke Boekhorst with the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association says Sparkle has been a huge hit with downtown businesses. (The News files)
Maple Ridge business to get free Earth Day window cleaning

Event put on by the Downtown Maple Ridge BIA and Christian Life Assembly

Allen, Mel, and Trevor Leung pose on the Whitecaps field in Vancouver. (Special to The News)
Community rallies to support Maple Ridge man suffering from paralysis, kidney issues

GoFundMe set up to help Allen Leung and his family during difficult times

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Most Read