Sir Frank Lowy

December 9, 2017 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has knighted the Sydney-based co-founder of the Westfield Shopping Centre conglomerate Frank Lowy at Windsor Castle.

Sir Frank Lowy Image: STEVE PARSONS/AFP/Getty ImagesGetty/AFP supplied by Westfield

The citation for Slovakian-born Frank Lowy reads:  “Frank Lowy is recommended for his contribution to the UK economy through the company he founded, Westfield, and its major investments in the UK. The group has opened Europe’s two largest urban shopping centres, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City and has recently submitted a planning application for a new one billion pound plus retail development in Croydon which will create thousands more jobs. He has also been involved in a number of philanthropic activities in the UK including with the Cabinet Office War Rooms, the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.”

The procedure for the investiture was that Her Majesty the Queen enters the room attended by The Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the guard. The National Anthem is played, and then the military band or orchestra continues to play a variety of music while the recipients are called forwards one-by-one, usually by the Lord Chamberlain. The Member of the Royal Family places the decoration on the person and congratulates them on their honour. Those who are receiving a knighthood, as in Sir Frank’s case, kneel on an Investiture stool before the member of the Royal family to be dubbed.

Sir Frank Lowy AC was appointed a Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the Birthday Honours List announced on June 17, 2017. His investiture ceremony is being held at Windsor Castle on Friday, 8 December. It is unknown at this point who from the Royal Family will present him with his award.

Sir Frank Lowy and Her Majesty the Queen
Photos: Gets Images/AFP supplied by Westfield

Questions were posed to Sir Frank following the ceremony. Sir Frank following the ceremony:

What was it like in there Sir Frank?

It was overwhelming, in splendour.

How did it feel? What was your feeling?

Well, it was ‘how come?’ me being here and being honoured like that. I couldn’t quite add the two and two together but of course it’s a wonderful feeling to have received that honour.

Did you have a conversation with Her Majesty?

Yes, she asked me a couple of questions and then I answered. And I told her that I have met her before in Sydney with the famous coach that we built for her. [This refers to the Australian State Coach presented to Her Majesty in Sydney by Frank as a gift from the people of Australia in May 1988].

And was it good to have your family here, or a lot of your family here?

Wonderful, it was wonderful to have the family here. I think they all enjoyed it – the occasion was very, very impressive.

Sir Frank Lowy AC was appointed a Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the Birthday Honours List announced on June 17, 2017. His investiture ceremony is being held at Windsor Castle on Friday, 8 December. It is unknown at this point who from the Royal Family will present him with his award.

His knighthood was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June. At the time Mr Lowy said he felt humbled by the appointment and believed the recognition should be shared with the thousands of Westfield staff who helped contribute to the company’s success in the United Kingdom.

He said in June: “No individual alone can achieve the things we have in London,” he said. “Our first centre in London was opened on the eve of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 yet has thrived ever since. “Our second centre at Stratford City played a key role in the development of the site for the 2012 London Olympics and has been a catalyst for the rejuvenation of the whole of east London and now serves as a major community and job creation centre.

We look forward to advancing our planning application for a new centre at Croydon and to further investment and job creation in the future.”

Sir Frank Lowy Lowy said he had a deep and abiding respect and affection for the United Kingdom. “I had been trying to establish a business in the UK since the mid-1970s but for various reasons it wasn’t until 2000 that we finally made it.

That breakthrough was enormously satisfying, and I’m proud that we have been able to make such a powerful economic contribution, as well as support a number of very worthy philanthropic projects.”

Sir Frank  Lowy said the genesis of his regard for the UK was listening to the BBC World Service as a young boy in war-torn Eastern Europe. He recalls that as a child he would huddle around a radio in a bunker, listening to the chimes of Big Ben in London introduce the latest war news. “It always gave us hope that help was on the way, and that the war would end in our favour,

From that time on I associated the British people with freedom and humanity and the sound of those chimes brings back those memories to this very day,” he said. “On behalf of my colleagues at Westfield and my family, I want to place on record my appreciation for this honour and re-commit myself and our company to making a contribution to the economy and people of the UK.”

Sir Frank Lowy was born in what is now Slovakia in 1930 and survived World War II living with his mother in Budapest and evading capture by the Nazis.

His father and many other family members died in concentration camps. In 1946 he made his way to France where he boarded a refugee ship bound for Palestine.

He was detained on arrival by British authorities and interned in a detention camp in Cyprus. He later made his way to Palestine, joined the Golani Brigade and fought in the 1948 War of Independence which led to the establishment of the State of Israel. In 1952 Lowy left Israel for Australia and started a business delivering small goods. In 1953, he met fellow immigrant John Saunders. In 1960 they created Westfield Development Corporation and developed shopping centres throughout Australia before expanding to the United States in the 1970s, New Zealand in the mid-1990s and the United Kingdom in 2000.

Lowy remains Chairman of Westfield Corporation, now one of the world’s leading retail property companies. It owns and operates a portfolio of 35 shopping centres in the United Kingdom and United States valued at US$31billion. In 2014 the global Westfield Group was reorganised to separate its Australian and New Zealand operations from its US and UK business.

Westfield shopping centres in Australia and NZ today are owned and operated by new entity, Scentre Group.

In 2000 Lowy was awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour being made a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) for services to business and philanthropy. He has served in several corporate, community and philanthropic roles in Australia and internationally, including as Chairman of Football Federation Australia (2003-2015); as founder and Chairman of the Lowy Institute for International Policy; Chairman of the Institute for National Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv; and, founder and Chairman of the Lowy Medical Research Institute. He served two five-year terms as a member of the board of Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia.

He also served for 10 years as a Director of UK media group, Daily Mail and General Trust plc (UK) until 2007.

In 1999 the University of New South Wales conferred upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of his contribution to business and the community. Mr Lowy is married to Shirley and lives in Sydney. They have three sons – David, Peter and Steven.


4 Responses to “Sir Frank Lowy”
  1. Annette Pien says:

    Mazeltov to the ultimate mench!
    May your family always treasure your love.

  2. Joe Weinstein says:

    Mazal Tov! Mazal Tov! SIR FRANK !!

    We are ALL so very proud of YOU !

    Thank you for being You


  3. Roger Ellison says:

    Wonderful news! Mazeltov Sir Frank!

  4. Liat Kirby says:

    Congratulations, Sir Frank Lowy. I’m not one for titles, from the Queen or Australia, however, your sincerity and humility in the face of receiving yours should not be begrudged or denied by anyone. Such a life you’ve had. I had no idea you’d been interned in the British detention camp on Cyprus or been part of the Golani Brigade in what was then Palestine. Your contributions in so many fields have been significant and the spirit you have shown is incredible.

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