Mr. Lee is one of the few remaining shoe shiners in Hong Kong. For over decades, he has been working at a corner next to the Murray Road Multi-storey Car Park Building in Central.
Despite his old age of 77, Mr. Lee comes to work every day. Shoes after shoes, he keeps bowing down and concentrates on his work for around 9 hours a day. Sometimes, he even forgets to have lunch.
His endeavor to do the best impresses all. This great attitude brings him a good reputation in the industry and a bunch of regular customers.
Back to the old days, Mr.Lee was one of the thousands shoe shiners in Hong Kong during the market bloom in 1950s.
When the industry started shrinking after years, as the only breadwinner in the family, Mr. Lee tried many different jobs in order to raise his five children.
Life is full of ups and downs.
Mr. Lee faced unemployment when he was at the age of 50 as people thought he was too old to work.
With a low education level and a lack of other skills, he started polishing shoes again on the street and has worked until today.
Mr.Lee can only earn around two to three thousand dollars a month. Although life is tough, he does not want to live on the government’s comprehensive social security assistance.
He walks through the storm, holding his head up high.
Nowadays, there are less than ten shoe shiners in Hong Kong. Mr. Lee believes that this distinguishing local feature is vanishing.
“Young people would not enter the industry. It’s a pity. But I would be content if people remember there was once a great shoe shiner working here after I die.” said Mr. Lee, with a smile on his wrinkled face.