Post updates: We wrote the article below in 2011. Known as the “Umbrella Man” in Hong Kong, Mr. Ho Hung Hee passed away peacefully at the age of 87 in year 2015. For this reason, Peel Street will no longer be the same without Mr. Ho. We will never forget his kindness.
Have you heard of the Umbrella Man in Hong Kong?
Mr. Ho Hung Hee holds the 1994 Guinness World Record for making the most expensive umbrella in the world. An Englishman bought the umbrella for £167. Specifically, the umbrella was made using ox-skin from America and a 100-year-old German umbrella frame that Mr. Ho found at a construction site in 1982.
This is his shop-front, located on Peel Street, Mid-Levels, Central.
A one-man business since year 1947, the run-down shack speaks volume, representing Umbrella Man’s humble past, his passion for fixing umbrellas and his thrifty values. Almost every day, 85-year-old Mr. Ho sits by his stall, patiently mending every single umbrella that passes through his hands. As can be seen, he is conscious about recycling useful materials, often using parts from old umbrellas to make new ones.
Meanwhile, many affluent residents and white-collar professionals hang out in the vicinity, discussing seemingly big matters of the world. In reality, most would simply throw away a broken umbrella without second thoughts and then get a new one from the nearest convenience store.
Of course, this is the exact situation that Mr. Ho wish to prevent. As such, his umbrella stall opens from 11am to 4pm, gently reminding us to treasure every little things in our life. However, there is so just much that Umbrella Man can do.
With this in mind, is anyone up for some shady business?