Roger

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Rogers Shoe Repair’s – 88 Redfern Street, Redfern.

The only boot maker worthy of a blog post.

The only boot maker I will probably ever write a blog post about.

The only boot maker I know.
The only boot maker worth knowing.

No boot beyond repair, no sandal buckle beyond salvation.
No high heel unscalable.
Sneakers, flats, clogs, tap shoes, ballet slippers
All worthy of Rogers exquisite craftsmanship
Shoe respite & repair.

Roger is known to repair for free, a smile his only service charge
And if you are lucky, the restoration may come with a perfectly pitched compliment, taking an average encounter to the realm of extraordinary.

‘Thank you for being you’
‘ I don’t need to flirt it get business, so listen when I tell you, I don’t say this often, you are a beautiful women’
‘ I don’t want money, your beautiful smile is enough’

How many people have experienced the ‘ Roger treatment?’

Today, after I collected my boots and newly stitched handbag, I stopped by the local grocery store to buy strawberries & rocky road – for the shoe man who would not take my money.

I feel old when I say ‘ in this day and age, this type of service is unheard off, is other worldly’

But I am old and it is true!

So Roger, thank you for being you.
Your craftsmanship inspires, as does your dedication to promoting goodwill and cheers to the humans of Redfern & their shoes

 

Take me to Church…..

There was a conversation I had last year with an Anglican Priest in Dulwich Hill Sydney.

Over black coffee we chatted for two hours and it transpired that yes, he was interested in hosting a student intern. His questions for me, would I be interested in taking up boxing and joining him on tour of Syria?

That conversation was one of the most interesting I had ever engaged in….it was magical, joyous, life affirming, and it was over too soon…So today, 8 months after my path crossed that of Fighting Father Dave Smith, Australian of the Year Nominee, Work Record holder & all round awesome person…. I returned to his hood, his church, his parish, his people, his Sunday Celebration at 9.15am.

But he was not there – He was doing a peace tour of Iran…

Fighting Father Dave Smith, Martin Place, Sydney

Fighting Father Dave Smith Artwork, Martin Place, Sydney

Physically he was far from home, but by God did I know I was in Fighting Father Dave’s Parish!!
For a start I was set upon my a young boy of 6, he ran down the foot path as he saw me approach the church. He handed me a prayer book and asked if I had ever been to church. I said ‘ yes, but not this one’. He looked puzzled by my answer but let me enter.

Church started at 9.15am, but people arrived when it suited them. This made me smile.

A church band consisting of a drummer, saxophone, piano, guitar played glorious tunes, backed by glorious singing voice.

Children ran joyously around the church during the service. They were free to express themselves even more at what felt like intermission, a Sunday school sing-a-long for kids, complete with instruments for all, dancing and hand gestures. Hard to tell if the kids enjoyed it as much as the adult congregation?!

The open mic announcement mid service were indeed my highlight. Updates from Dave’s wife about the Iran tour, and his boxing for peace work. Parishioners followed with updates on aid work in Fiji, volunteer roles available etc. My favourite announcement was that one parishioner had been unsuccessful in her submission to this  years Archibald portraiture exhibition.

There was singing, sermons, a 5 minute ‘ peace be with you’ approach to spreading the good news, morning tea, birthday cakes, conversation galore, I was clearly an out of towner and people were keen to hear my story.

The morning had it all. Everything except the man himself- Fighting Father Dave Smith.

But by golly gosh was he there….He was everywhere.

A testament to the community man that he is, the church was buzzing with joy, conversation, compassion & kindness, for the young, old and the curious ie me.

Danny Lim & Smarty

Having called Sydney home for 11 years I have met a few people in my time. I have even met a few people I would call ‘iconically’ Sydney….and this post series will be dedicated to them.

Icons of Sydney…. A humble person that epitomises this life affirming, pulse racing, draw droppingly beautiful city.

Danny Lim and his dog Smarty.

The pair first caught my attention last year as I drove I along Cleveland Street, Surry Hills. There he stood at a major intersection, adorned with a sign that read – smile, be happy. It was a confronting sight… Heavy morning traffic, a glum winters day, commuters travelling at snail pace, frowning, distracted and dissatisfied with thoughts of yet another 9 hours at a computer desk.

But smile I did when I saw Danny Lim, arms outstretched, smiling, beckoning us all with infectious enthusiasm to do the same.

Fast forward a year, and I run into Mr Lim in North Sydney. I could not help myself- I stop to chat.

‘ You crossed the bridge, you are North side now. Why?’

‘ My work in the city is done. I am needed here’

I look around. He is right. No one is smiling. Danny and Smarty have the work cut out for them.

But they are the right people for the job, if they can’t turn a frown upside down no one can.

Danny Lim & Smarty the Dog- Icons of Sydney.

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