Shop-owner who never took a day off, retires after 38 years

Shop-owner, Roy Kharbanda, Southampton, farewell

He worked 12 hour days every day except Sunday when he would do a 10-hour shift.

By Web Report

Published: Wed 29 Jul 2020, 12:06 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 Jul 2020, 2:14 PM

After almost four decades of running his convenience store in Southampton, Hampshire, and not taking a single day off, a 62-year-old shopkeeper has finally called it quits.
Roy Kharbanda, who came to England in 1981, bought the shop in 1982 and has since been working seven days a week for 38 years, making it 13,416 days straight. He worked 12 hour days every day except Sunday when he would do a 10-hour shift, and even opened his shop for an hour every Christmas Day.
He has established himself as a community legend and has even served five generations of one local family, reported Daily Mail. Over 150 people from the community neighbourhood gathered to clap for Kharbanda giving him a farewell.
Kharbanda, a father-of-three, said he wanted to give his daughters the best education he could afford and regarded holidays as a waste of time. He was able to send his daughters to £13,000 a year Gregg private school, then to a leading sixth form college and university. 
His daughters - Mira, 34, is now a geneticist, Natasha, 33, is an engineer and 29-year-old Justine works as a lawyer for Microsoft.
"People think I'm bonkers. I have lived for my children. My view is that everything comes and goes. You can have holidays but they come and go. Education is forever. That is the mantra of my life," Kharbanda said.

A grandfather-of-three, said that post his retirement now he plans to take his wife, Shashi, 59, on their first ever holiday together in their 39 years of marriage. "My wife and myself wanted to give our children a decent education. Now I've done what I wanted to do for the kids," he added.

Kharbanda arrived in Southampton from Punjab, India, in 1981 to marry Shashi and the following year he took over the Testwood Stores shop in the city's Shirley region. Shashi said, "It's been nice having him around. He's been helping me in the garden which I used to do on my own."

Kharbanda now wants his daughters to take over the shop which is currently being run by his nephew.

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