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

A nurse holds vials of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 during a vaccination campaign at WiZink indoor arena in Madrid, Spain, Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Manu Fernandez
Hope residents 40 and older can now get vaccinated at participating pharmacies

Remedy’s RX pharmacist said the response from the public was immediate following announcement

Future Finlandia Lion Ian Heagy with his biggest fan, mom Jen Heagy. (submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey player Ian Heagy defies the odds to land at Finlandia

Having never played a minute of rep, Heagy is making the jump from house to NCAA Div 2 hockey

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

In 2012, police in Abbotsford placed surveillance cameras near the Dhaliwal home in the 2500 block of Bradner Road after there were two drive-by shootings in the area. Harb Dhaliwal, 31, has now been identified as the victim of a fatal shooting April 17 in Vancouver. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford man named as victim of fatal weekend shooting in Vancouver

Harpreet Dhaliwal, 31, killed outside of Cardero’s restaurant in Coal Harbour

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

A man has died after being shot at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park the evening of Monday, April 19. (Twitter/IHIT)
1 man dead after shooting at Coquitlam park: IHIT

The gunman is still at large, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

Most Read