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19 July 2017 Posted by 

The boy from Blacktown is now Sir Frank

RED DWYER
THE boy from Blacktown has been honoured by Buckingham Palace.
Born in 1930, Frank Lowy (pictured) survived the Holocaust in Hungary, fought for the Israeli army as the country won independence in 1948, and arrived alone in Australia as a seventeen-year-old refugee, with little to his name, in 1952, to be with his family, which had arrived earlier and started a business delivering small goods.
 
Sixty-five years later, the now prominent Australian business man has received many prestigious awards for his business prowess, philanthropy and contribution to sport including a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2000.
 
His most recent award was as Knight Bachelor in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced in June, for his contribution to business and philanthropy in the UK. 
 
The man in question is now known as Sir Frank Lowy. 
 
He met John Saunders, a fellow immigrant, and in 1953 opened a delicatessen business in Blacktown to cater primarily for European immigrants like themselves.
 
“Burning with ambition”, according to Frank Lowy, the partners took a punt in property development and opened an American-style shopping centre in the Western Sydney suburb, containing two department stores, a supermarket and 12 shops built around a courtyard.
 
Over the next three decades they developed shopping centres across Australia and the United States and listed the company on the Sydney Stock Exchange in 1960 as Westfield Development Corporation.
 
The initial shopping venture has grown to become one of the world’s largest shopping centre owners and managers. 
John Saunders, now deceased, sold his interests and left the company in 1987; in the 1990s Frank Lowy took the company to New Zealand, then the United Kingdom in the 2000s, with an outlet in Milan, Italy, expected to be completed in 2020. 
 
Since 2014, the Westfield Group split into two new, independent companies – Scentre Group, which owns and operates the Australian and New Zealand shopping centre portfolio, and Westfield Corporation which owns and operates the UK, Europe and US portfolio.
 
Sir Frank, 86, stepped down as chairman of Scentre in May 2016 while remaining chairman of Westfield Corp.
With little to his name upon arrival in Australia, Sir Frank’s estimated net worth was reported to be US$5.1B (approximately Aust$6.7B), by Bloomberg in March 2017.


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