A quiet man who didn’t talk much shocked the community kitchen he had volunteered once a week for a decade when he left his home for them after his death.
Malcolm ‘Mal’ Mawhinney left the deed to his discreet but impeccably located Clovelly home in Sydney to Reverend Bill Crew’s Exodus Foundation after his death.
Rev Crews was shocked when friends of Mr Mawhinney told him he had donated the house and decided to sell it to help support the long-running kitchen for the deprived and needy.
The house was in a state of disrepair and disrepair at the time of Mr Mawhinney’s death, but due to its prime location in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, it still sold for $4.5 million.
All money from the sale will be reinvested into the kitchen, which Rev. Crews said was recently operating on limited funds.
Reverend Bill Crews knew Malcolm “Mal” Mawhinney as a volunteer at his Exodus Foundation over the past decade, but didn’t know much else about this reclusive figure.
When Mr Mawhinney died, his friends told Rev Crews he donated his $4.5 million home in Clovelly, Sydney, to help keep the charity kitchen afloat.
Mr. Crews didn’t know much about Mr. Mawhinney and thought he might even have trouble fending for himself, he said. A current affair.
“We never knew how much he earned, where he was from or what he did… He didn’t look much different from many of our guests, so he was just one of us “, did he declare.
Mr Mawhinney had to stop volunteering in the kitchen after suffering a stroke before dying in 2021 at the age of 75.
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His friends first got in touch with the Reverend because his final wish was for his ashes to be scattered at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
After he agreed to fulfill this request, they began to tell him more about their late friend.
“They said he was going to let you have his house, but it’s all in disrepair, but it didn’t really click,” Rev Crews said.
Mr. Mawhinney was a lonely homebody for as long as Rev Crews knew him and one of his favorite pastimes was reading in the back room of his house.
A Google Street View image even showed him sitting on the large glass door at the back of his house while reading in the sun.
When Rev Crews got in touch with Tony Andreacchio of Raine and Horne House Auctions, the two men worked to sell the property which Mr Mawhinney’s friends said was “held with pigeon droppings”.
“He lived, let’s say, very badly (but) what he did for this church is incredible because Bill said he was starting to run out of food and everything,” Mr. Andreacchio said.
The day the house went up for auction, Rev Crews was worried it wouldn’t sell because not many people showed up, but once they arrived, the bids started pouring in.
‘Mal’ Mawhinney was a reclusive homebody who didn’t talk much about himself
A Google Street View image even showed him sitting in the sunny back room of his house while he read.
Starting with a bid of $3 million, buyers became more enthusiastic about bidding when they learned the proceeds would be donated to Rev Crews.
After stagnating between the opening offer and $3.5 million, the offers only stopped when they finally settled at $4.5 million.
Proceeds from the auction are expected to feed hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the support of the Exodus Foundation.
Rev Crew’s kitchen feeds more than 600,000 vulnerable or homeless people each year.
When asked what Mr Mawhinney’s legacy would be, Rev Crews said helping those in need to survive would be how the kitchen would remember him.
A woman in her sixties came to the kitchen after Mr Mawhinney died. She needed help because she had lost her job and was caring for a disabled child, Rev Crews recalled.
“She comes here asking for help and we are able to help her, that’s how she will be remembered,” he said.
“He will be remembered through this woman, knowing that she can survive a little longer.”
Rev Crew’s Exodus Foundation feeds more than 600,000 vulnerable people each year, and its continued success will be Mr. Mawhinney’s lasting legacy, he said.