Forty years of map making have given Chu Kwan an intimate knowledge of Hong Kong. And now that knowledge, which made him the Lands Department's principal cartographer, is being used by the retired civil servant to head the Salvation Army's Tung Tau shop for the elderly, which offers low-priced health food and equipment. Mr Chu, 65, who has been retired for six years, today spends his time planning the shop's development and searching for resources, including goods, finance and free medical services. His new role comes after a demanding career involving some of the city's biggest developments, in which he was responsible for verifying the feasibility of planners' proposals, calculating plot ratios and adding necessary components. After working on projects such as the reclamation and other work for the airport at Chek Lap Kok, the Whampoa Garden residential and business area and the Tate's Cairn Tunnel, he was worried about what he was going to do in retirement. 'I felt uncomfortable about having nothing to do at the beginning,' said Mr Chu, who was also an assistant commissioner for the Civil Aid Service. But a friend's suggestion that he teach English at the Salvation Army put his mind at rest. 'My government job made me an expert in finding solutions to problems,' Mr Chu said. While he does not draw a salary in his current position, he is not taking the job lightly. 'Some elderly do not treat voluntary work seriously, but I consider it a formal job after retirement,' he said. Mr Chu is not embarrassed seeking help for the shop from just about everyone he has met in his life. He has persuaded his wife Anita Soo Pik-king's Chinese medicine practitioner, Sung Yeung-ping, to provide a monthly free medical service to the elderly. 'As time goes on, I can see the elderly trust Ms Sung a lot,' he said. Mr Chu, who still teaches English twice a week, said the language was important to the elderly. He is also heavily involved in district affairs in Tai Po. 'I help raise funds for the district's dragon boat team through my network,' said Mr Chu, who is also an executive member of the Tai Po cross-harbour swimming team. But Mr Chu has one regret - the scrapping of the Outstanding Elderly Employees Award in 1997. He received the award from the Council of Social Services in 1995 and formed an association of award recipients who became involved in elderly services. 'The association suffered from lack of new blood. Some members died and some had other things to worry about. The association could not move forward,' Mr Chu said.