Shoe repair veteran urges youth to learn trade
One of the worst things to happen is for your shoes to fall apart, especially on a busy day. But for Frank Yorrick, that’s actually a good thing.
“This is the main focus in my life,” the Cobbler said as he stitched a sandal in the busy Stabroek Market on Thursday morning.
Yorrick, now 54 years old, has been plying his trade for over three decades. He operates in the middle section of the market which was previously occupied exclusively by Cobblers.
“I had a brother who used to run the shoemaker stand in the market…and he encouraged me to come, and he migrated and I am still here, doing the same job,” he told the News Room.
Yorrick was born and raised with nine other siblings in the village of Plaisance on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), where he still resides.
He fathered ten children and continued the job to maintain his family.
At first did not see the shoe repair business as a long-term profession but that changed as he grew to love his job.
“It wasn’t something that I planned but after I realized you making a living off of it, I decide to stick with it. But I still didn’t expect I would have been here so long.
“I like working with my hands because it pays me,” he said as a customer stopped at the stall in need of urgent help as the sole of his shoe became loose from the rest of the shoe.
Yorrick proudly pointed out that he managed to fund his children’s Primary and Secondary education and later sent his six sons to the Georgetown Technical Institute; his daughters learnt cosmetology and other skills.
He noted that some days in the market are busier than others but he is never without work.
“Some days, you get like 15, some days you get more –it depends on the day and how people shoe loose,” he said.
He is a believer that persons should learn to work with their hands and encourages youths to learn a skill to earn a living. This he said can ensure that they are not involved in criminal activities.
“I would encourage any young person to learn a trade, even this trade can take care of a large family… learn a trade and be useful in society and keep away from the bad things in this life,” Yorrick encouraged.