A Sydney community mourns the death of a ‘humble cobbler’ who brought smiles to locals’ faces for the past 60 years before being hit by Covid-19.
Jim Saad, 80, ran shoe repairs and key cutters at Milsons Point station. Luna Park.
The Kirribilli community says the area will ‘never be the same’ and has flooded its storefront with flowers and moving tributes to show his family how much he meant to locals, who passed his shop every day on their way to their home. work.
Saad died of a heart attack last Saturday, six days after contracting the coronavirus.
He is one of 1,000 people in Australia who have died tragically after being struck by the devastating virus.
An affluent Sydney community mourns the death of ‘humble cobbler’ Jim Saad, 80, (pictured) who has brought smiles to locals’ faces for the past 60 years
Locals left flowers and paid tribute outside his shop, Shoe Repairs & Key Cutting, at Milsons Point station
Vale Jim: Incarcerated residents left messages showing how much Mr. Saad meant to them
Mr Saad ran the shop at Milson’s Point station for 60 years and had an army of loyal customers
Local residents said they wanted to leave tributes at his shop to show his ‘beautiful family’ how much they ‘loved and appreciated’ him
“Everyone in the area would walk past his house going to and from the area and you would see him working in his shop and saying hello,” Lloyd Gledhill, who has been a buddy with Mr Saad for 38 years, told the Daily Mail Australia.
“Everyone brought his shoes to him because he was doing so well.
“And he just had an interesting sense of humor and scolded customers when he thought they weren’t paying attention to their shoes.”
While the highly skilled shoemaker, who started the business after emigrating from Lebanon in 1962, was a master of his craft, customers remember him for his good-hearted nature.
“Your welcome wave to come and talk to you or a cup of tea will hold so many special memories,” a tribute said outside his storefront.
“Jim was a nice man who always took the time to talk to me and my four children. I miss you Jim. Kirribilli will always miss you.’
Mr. Saad started the company after emigrating from Lebanon in 1962 and was considered a master of this craft
Lloyd Gledhill captured a beautiful photo series of his friend at work earlier this year
Mr Gledhill said: ‘Jim had an interesting sense of humor and would scold customers if he thought they weren’t taking care of their shoes’
Another message read: “Warmest greetings from a community that will never be the same.
“You meant so much to so many in the area.”
Incarcerated local residents said they wanted to leave tributes at his shop to show his “beautiful family” how much they loved and appreciated him.
“He was just a humble shoemaker who came by bus and train every day for 60 years to serve the people of Milsons Point and Kirribilli,” Gledhill said.
“But Jim had a lot of very prominent people coming in. I believe John Howard was one of his clients and he also worked for Luna Park to supply the oversized giant shoes for the clowns there.
The point was that he was 80 and had absolutely no intention of retiring. He just wanted to serve and help people.”
Mr Saad is captured in a black and white photograph in his early years as the community mourns a local legend
Mr Saad’s family is working on live streaming his funeral service and will set a date in the coming days
Mr Saad’s family says they are overwhelmed with community support (pictured, his beloved shop)
Due to NSW Covid restrictions, a large public funeral is not possible.
But the family is working to stream the service live and will set a date in the coming days.
Many are also calling on the local government of North Sydney to erect a permanent memorial at Milsons Point Station.
Mr Saad’s family says they are overwhelmed by the community’s support.
“As a father, he took care of everything for me and my sister and his grandchildren – as he was at work, he was at home,” his son Matthew de North Shore Times.
“He never wanted the kids to run out and was always happy and smiling.
“The store was his home away from home – he worked six days a week and at Christmas he only had three weeks off a year.
“There was nothing he didn’t know about shoes.”