No one was ever in any doubt where they stood with Neville Newton (pictured).
He was a straight-talking, no-nonsense type who knew how to cut through red tape and achieve the best for his community. His meaningful life was about so much more than business
The son of a baker born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Mr Newton rose from humble beginnings, worked his way through the meat industry and bought his first abattoir in Goulburn in 1991.
It was a dream back then, but through sheer hard work he and his business partner built up a successful company, which continues today under the able management of his son, Craig.
Southern Meats has been a constant source of employment for Goulburn for 25 years, thanks to Mr Newton’s enterprise. He sold the business in 2011.
On Monday, West Australian Meat Marketing Co-operative and Southern Meats chief executive Coll MacRury described Mr Newton as a “great guy and a great mentor”.
“He could talk to anyone, whether it was the Queen or blokes digging a hole,” he said.
“He was a great relationship builder and that’s what made him so successful.”
Mr Newton never forgot his origins and made it his mission to look after those doing it tough. He loaned money to struggling workers and gave thousands of dollars to charity. So much of this was done behind the scenes without any want of recognition.
He was generous with his time, loaning his expertise to community organisations such as the Challenge Foundation and Goulburn Racing Club. He was also a Goulburn Citizen of the Year.
Throughout his recent health challenges, Mr Newton donated heavily to life-changing melanoma medication trials in the hope it would help his grandchildren’s generation. That same medication prolonged his life and gave quality time with his family they will never forget.
Cr Margaret O’Neill is right to say the city has lost a great friend and a “silent achiever”.
We will also a remember a man who loved his family deeply and created a nurturing environment for them.
To his wife Robyn, sons Craig, Heath and Scott, their spouses Michelle, Alison and Joanne and grandchildren Georgia, Charlie, Ella, Bradley, Tessa and Jack, we offer our sincere condolences.
- A fuller tribute to Mr Newton will appear in a future Goulburn Post edition.