UIA giant passes away

April 14, 2016 by Henry Benjamin
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Saul Same, a former federal president of the United Israel Appeal, has passed away in Melbourne at the of 97.

At the KH World Conference in Jerusalem, in June 2012: Irit Barash, KH Director of English-speaking Countries, Saul Same and his grandson Joshua

At the KH World Conference in Jerusalem, in June 2012: Irit Barash, KH Director of English-speaking Countries, Saul Same and his grandson Joshua

Saul Same was born in Beer Tuvia in 1918 as Avshalom Shmulewitz,  at the end of the First World War.

At the age of  five, his family immigrated to Perth, Australia, where they bought a 3,500-acre farm which today is still under his family’s management and has been expanded to 130,000 acres
Saul Same became a very successful businessman in Melbourne and was a respected advisor to top Australian Labor leaders including former Prime Minister Bob Hawke accompanying the prime minister  on several visits to Israel.

Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten paid tribute to Saul Same saying: “The Labor family mourns the loss of one of our most loyal sons. Saul Same AM was a gifted entrepreneur, a brilliant businessman and an extraordinarily generous philanthropist. All of us in the Australian Labor Party salute Saul Same’s remarkable life of achievement and his decades of unmatched service: to our movement, to Australia and to the people of Israel.

Saul came to Australia as the child of immigrants and grew up on a Western Australian farm. He walked five miles to school each day, four of them on his family’s property.

In 1944, still wearing his RAAF uniform, Saul walked into the Comfort Shirt and Underclothing factory in Fitzroy to cover for his father-in-law who had fallen ill.

Saul rapidly transformed that small business of just 12 employees making polo shirts for the army into the iconic Glo-Weave – a household name for any Australian who watched In Melbourne Tonight. 

Swift success did not change Saul, it only elevated his humility, his integrity and his great loyalty.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke put it best when he introduced Saul to Queen Elizabeth II as the ‘most honourable man in Australia’.

Truly, Saul Same walked with Kings but never lost the common touch.

Saul dined with Governors-General, he advised Prime Ministers and he offered four generations of Labor leaders the wisdom of his counsel and through it all remained a humble, courteous, decent man.

No words can repay the debt Labor owes to Saul Same.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to all who loved him and everyone he loved.

May he rest in eternal peace.”

Federal  president of the United Israel Appeal Harold Finger told J-Wire: “Saul Same was an inspiration to all of us. He was a passionate Zionist and was present at almost every meeting ever held in Israel involving Keren Hayesod. His contribution will never be forgotten.”

Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for the Arts Mark Dreyfus was joined by the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Opposition Leader Michael Danby in issuing the following statement: “Saul Same was a true friend of Labor, but he was also much more than that.

Mr Same arrived in Australia as an immigrant from British-controlled Palestine just after the first World War. After serving our country in the RAAF during World War II, an unexpected turn of events saw him take over the family business, making shirts for the army.

Through his success in that business, which later became the iconic Gloweave, Mr Same emerged as one of Victoria’s most notable entrepreneurs.

But it is a mark of Mr Same’s character that financial success was never an end in itself. He wanted to do more.

He became a legendary philanthropist, giving generously to social and educational projects in the developing nation of Israel, for which he was awarded the Israel Goldstein Prize in 1992 by the Keren Hayesod Foundation, one of just four Australian recipients.

In the early 1950s he started to organise meetings for federal Labor leaders with the Melbourne Jewish community.

For the next half-century, Mr Same delivered unwavering support to the Labor cause. He was a valued friend and adviser to every Labor leader who came through the ranks during that time, and was particularly treasured by the late Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Kim Beazley and Julia Gillard.

“The events held at his home in Armadale in support of the party before every federal election were Labor legend,” Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said. “I valued his friendship and advice immensely.”

Victoria’s Jewish community will miss Mr Same greatly. He was a tireless advocate for the community and gave generously to philanthropic organisations in aid of Jewish communities at home and abroad.

“My friend ‘Avshalom’ – as he was known to the congregation of Elwood Shule – and I sat together at Synagogue over the last decade of his 96 years,” Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby said. “He continued to keenly follow politics, especially of his beloved friends in the leadership of Australian Labor.”

It was obvious to anyone who met him that Saul was a person of unique character – a genuinely kind, loving and giving man with a passionate interest in Australia.

He will be sorely missed.”

President of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Robert Goot told J-Wire: “Saul Same z”l was one of the giants of our community – truly a legendary figure who had a profound influence, especially within the leadership of the ALP, for more than five decades.

Saul achieved great success as a businessman and entrepreneur and was renowned as a  generous philanthropist both in Australia and Israel. Notwithstanding that success,   Saul always remained decent, humble and most courteous. He was a quite  an extraordinary human being.

I consider it to have been a great privilege to have known and worked with Saul, in service to the Jewish community.

Sadly, we are unlikely to see the likes of Saul Same again.”

Dr Colin Rubenstein, executive director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council joined AIJAC’S president Mark Leibler in commenting: “Saul Same was a legendary figure in the Jewish community and the Labor movement in Australia. A gentle and warm person, he was generous, thoughtful and principled. His commitment to the cause of Israel and other Jewish concerns was extraordinary. His considered advice and wise counsel was sought by, and provided to, four generations of leaders. He will be sorely missed by AIJAC and the wider Australian community.”

President of the Zionist Federation of Australia Dr Danny Lamm told J-Wire: “It is with deep regret and sadness that we heard  of the passing of Saul Same AM ,Z’L. in his 98th year .

Saul was a great supporter and worker for UIA its  Honorary Life President and  Life Governor of UIA Australia and UIA Victoria. He was the recipient of the  Israel Goldstein prize the highest  honour that World Keren  Hayesod can bestow

For services to Australia’s Textile industry he was granted a membership in the Order of Australia .

He was a remarkable committed and entirely selfless Zionist , dedicated to Israel and its people . The WZO , ZFA and the ZCV awarded him the Jerusalem Prize in 2009.

We shall miss him dearly.”

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chair of The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) added: “We have lost an important and powerful voice today. It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the passing of Saul Same, who will be fondly remembered as one of our community’s and country’s most revered and iconic figures. His courageous outspokenness, generosity, warmth, and intelligence will be greatly missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to his family. It’s a sad day for those who were lucky to know him, and may his memory be a blessing to us all.”


Saul Same’s funeral in Melbourne will be webcast tomorrow at 1:00p.m on http://mck.org.au . Once on the website click “Funerals” the click “Saul Same”.


One Response to “UIA giant passes away”
  1. Henry Herzog says:

    I can say with honour and with pride that Saul Same was a friend of mine. If ever the esteemed description of being a mensch suited someone, it was Saul.
    Saul had the kindest nature of anyone I’ve known; generous and giving in every meaning of the words; ethical, honest and humble in all his dealings and actions.
    This world has lost a precious soul (Saul), but when he reached Gan Eden he would have received a King’s welcome.
    Saul, you’ll be truly missed down here.

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