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

Windsurfers enjoying a windstorm on Skaha Lake in Penticton on March 28, 2021. (Sandy Steck Photography)
Wind warning issued for Okanagan Valley

Boaters are being warned of gusts up to 70 km/h by late afternoon on Sunday

Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Shostak (centre) fends off a check from Salmon Arm defenceman to get a close-in scoring attempt on Silverbacks goalie Owen Say during Vernon’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout victory Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

Coldstream Fire Department crews stationed at Kal Lake Provincial Park parking lot on Cosens Bay Road on Sunday, April 18, after a car went over a cliff in the area. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Driver escapes after car goes over cliff in Coldstream near Kal Lake Park

The driver has been transported to hospital with unspecified injuries

A GoFundMe page has been launched for a Vernon man whose BX orchard property home off Pleasant Valley Road near Stickle Road was totally destroyed in a fire Saturday, April 17. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Fundraising campaign launched for Vernon man who lost home to fire

A GoFundMe page has been started by family; man taken to hospital with injuries from fire

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

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

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)
Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid Provincial Park off Highway 97 near Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Photo Gallery: Truck gutted by fire at popular Okanagan park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Most Read