Local Identities

Mal Green (1914 – 1983) Obituary

The man to whom Harvey people owe so much died peacefully in his sleep on 27 December.

Malcolm Ernest Green became the biggest influence in the development of Harvey after taking over his father’s small butcher’s shop in 1930. It was because of Mal Green’s foresight and sheer hard work that the small business progressed to the point where it was granted an export licence in 1959 and it has never looked back since.

Today the Harvey Meat Works – EG Green and Sons Pty Ltd – is one of Australia’s most modern meatworks supplying top quality meat throughout the world. Of the 8000 people who live in the Harvey Shire it is estimated that 1800 are involved with the company in some way. EG Green’s has a permanent work force of 300. But profit was never the late Mal Green’s prime motivation. Everything he did, he did with the people of Harvey in mind.

Personally, and through his company, Mal contributed to the town, attracting and keeping industry alive and through active involvement in time and money providing welfare, recreational, social and community facilities. In 1982 alone the late Mal Green contributed $50,000 to the welfare and sporting groups in the town. Mal also had a genuine concern for the elderly citizens of Harvey.

His vision was reflected in the purchase of five cattle stations in the East Kimberly region. In times of low supply in the South West these resources have saved many local workers their jobs.

Mal was optimistic about the future of Western Australia and this optimism was evident in everything that he did. He was actively involved in oil and gas exploration both at home and abroad.

EG Green Holdings Pty Ltd purchased the Cheynes Beach Whaling Station in Albany and in 1981, at Mal Green’s behest, it donated the station to the Jaycees Foundation. The gift, valued at $1 million, will preserve one of Australia’s first industries for the people of Western Australia and will encourage tourism in the South West area that Mal Green loved so much.

The meat industry also owed a lot to the late Mal Green for the many long hours he put into championing its cause at all levels. A staunch supporter of the WA Exporters Association and the Meat and Allied Trades Federation, he held many key positions including:

  • Senior Vice President MATF Federal body (1973)
  • Councillor, Australian Meat Works Federal Council 1969 – 78)
  • Councillor, Meat Industry Advisory Council, Canberra (1976 – 78)
  • Member, WA Meat Commission (1976 – 80)
  • Councillor, Murdoch University Foundation Continuing Veterinary Education.

Mal Green contributed to West Australian life in many other ways. In his youth, he was a keen sportsman and entertained thousands as centre-half back for Subiaco between 1930 and 1938, playing for the State in that position in 1934. In 1966, the Harvey District Trotting Club and the Harvey-Brunswick Football Club bestowed on him Life Membership in recognition for his unstinting support over the years.

Mal lived an active life right to the end. In 1978, he announced his retirement from active involvement in the affairs of EG Green & Sons Pty Ltd and the meat industry as a whole.

But it wasn’t long before he came back, as enthusiastic as ever and brimful of ideas. Several years ago Mal and Edith moved to Perth to set up the exporting side of EG Green & Sons Pty Ltd. Mal continued to steer this end of the business and commuted weekly to Harvey to the community he loved.

A sudden heart attack and subsequent massive heart surgery curtailed his activities somewhat towards the end of last year. He appeared to be recovering from his heart operation and was fit and well at Christmas time and thus his untimely death came as a terrible shock to his family and many friends. The funeral service was attended by probably the biggest crowd of mourners ever witnessed in Harvey – a tribute to the esteem in which he was held by all who knew him.

He is survived by his wife Edith, daughters Kay and Jennifer and son Peter.

Harvey Reporter, Friday 27 January 1984.