09 May 2016

Parliamentary Tribute to Saul Same (z"l)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016 SPEECH:

Mr Saul Same AM

Speaker Dreyfus, Mark, MP

Mr DREYFUS (Isaacs—Deputy Manager of Opposition Business) (19:47):

I stand today to speak of the recent passing of Saul Same AM. Saul Same was a tremendously talented businessman and a magnificent philanthropist.

I am proud to have been one of his multitude of friends.

Saul, as is well documented, was once introduced by Prime Minister Bob Hawke to Queen Elizabeth as the 'most honourable man in Australia'. Born Avshalom Shmulewitz in British mandate Palestine in 1918, Saul came with his family to Australia in the early 1920s to a farm near Perth. He served our nation in the RAAF during World War II, and after the war he went to work in business.

Commencing work in a small shirt factory, Saul rapidly transformed that business with his commercial savvy and his willingness to embrace new and innovative manufacturing techniques. He rose to become one of the kings of the Australian textile industry and made Gloweave a household name.

Yet despite his great commercial success Saul was a man of fundamental decency and integrity. As the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, said: Saul dined with Governors-General, he advised Prime Ministers, he offered four generations of Labor leaders the wisdom of his counsel and through it all remained a humble, courteous, decent man.

Former leader Simon Crean, speaking at Saul's funeral at Springvale on 17 April, declared him an 'exceptional man' with values of integrity, trust and loyalty, a man of 'passion and compassion'. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard called him a 'man of pure heart'. He was a Labor man through and through, who cared deeply about social justice and for the less fortunate in our community. And he was a man who matched his passion with action, donating large amounts of his wealth to philanthropic causes.

...Many people and institutions owe a great deal to Saul Same. Saul was a giant of many communities: of the Labor community, of the Australian Jewish community, of the world Jewish community and of the Melbourne business community. He leaves behind thousands of friends and admirers.

While success in itself is not an uncommon experience for those who are lucky enough to live in Australia, success is rarely achieved with such grace and is rarely shared with such generosity as it was by Saul Same.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have known Saul for the years that I did. He always gave me good counsel, and he did so with a disarming warmth and wit. I learned a great deal from Saul, and I will miss him greatly.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to Saul's family and to his many friends. Saul, on behalf of the Labor Party, thank you. You will be missed.