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This 81-year-old shoemaker works six days a week...and has no intention of stopping!

This 81-year-old shoemaker works six days a week…and has no intention of stopping!

Business is healthy, and at age 81, a shoemaker from Côtes de Beauper, near Quebec, has no intention of stopping, even if he works six days a week to cater to his clients.

Jean-Marie Simard, owner of Cordonnerie JMS on Avenue Royale, in Saint-Joachim, will celebrate his 82nd birthday on December 8. Before joining the profession of shoemaker, he held several jobs in different fields.

Apprentice carpenter, surveying assistant, stationary engine mechanic, Mr. Simard can certainly be said to be a jack of all trades.

“I am a normal do-it-yourself person. When you achieve something that seems impossible, it is a victory. All profession It brings satisfaction. It is in me. I’m happy with that,” says the main interested party.

When he was living in Saint-Tite-des-Caps, Mr. Simard saw a “For Sale” sign in front of his municipal shoe repair shop. At the time, he was traveling every day to Quebec to work at the Cégep de Sainte-Foy, where he took care of equipment maintenance.

“I told myself I wanted to retire early there. I went to see the owner to make him an offer. I asked him to train me as a cobbler for six months. He found my project interesting and so I became a shoemaker.”

Court of Miracles

This project, which was to be before retirement, is still around thirty years later.

“I loved learning to make shoes, but Saint-Tite is too small to do just making shoes. So we did stuffing too. I chose with six employees. I went to Quebec, Baie Saint Paul, La Malbay to bid for restaurants and hotels. It was a great experience for me.” ”

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In 2002, Mr. Simard sold his company to take his “real” retirement. Unfortunately, it fell during the bursting of the tech bubble that sent stock prices down. He withdrew his investments and invested in real estate until he owned 24 homes. Take care of maintenance and repairs.

antidote to old age

After a few years, he got bored. He sold his premises and reopened his shoemaking workshop in 2008 in Saint-Joaquim.

“People often tell me that I work miracles. I answer them: ‘Of course, we are in Saint Anne!'” he says.

Mr. Simard fixes everything imaginable. He is in his workshop on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm and on Saturdays until noon.

“I never counted my hours,” he says.

“Work prevents old age from entering. It forces me to be alert all the time. It forces memory to work. I’m lucky that I am Full of in the order!”

“As long as my health allows it, I will work. If I am not sick, I will make shoes until I am 100 years old,” he concluded with a smile.

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