According to a 2018 JBWere report, the most recent of its kind, the legacy is well above the average of $40,000 to $50,000 left by the roughly 10,000 people who die each year and named a charity in their will.
Mawhinney’s friend John Cottle said Mawhinney loved cricket of all kinds and made friends with other fans and players. He traveled across NSW to take part in the Sheffield Shield and sat in the same seat at the SCG during the Test every year. He also volunteered at the Museum of History NSW and loved the swans and magpies of the western suburbs.
Mawhinney was an intelligent, quiet and reserved man who enjoyed reading and following the news. He didn’t talk much about his past. He was raised by his mother, Eileen, who was a single mother and bought the house about 50 years ago.
Mawhinney, an employee, retired from the federal Department of Social Security in 1990.
A creature of habit, Mawhinney visited the Clovelly Bowling Club every afternoon to drink a few Schooner Reschs beers before returning home, often for a modest dinner of baked beans.
Cottle said Mawhinney lived “hand to mouth” and refused to destroy his only asset, the house.
“Malcolm, you’re the richest guy in Clovelly because of the view of the property,” Cottle remembered telling his friend. “‘Take out a reverse mortgage, if Rev. Bill gets a few grand less, it doesn’t matter.’ But he wouldn’t be there.”
When Mal turned 75 eight months before his death, Cottle and several others invited him to a birthday dinner at the Centennial Park Homestead restaurant.
Mawhinney told them that it was the first birthday party he had been given in his entire life.
There are few photos of the man whose views will feed thousands. He rarely invited friends to his home, except occasionally to sit on the porch.
In Google Street View photos from recent years, Mawhinney can be seen sitting on a plastic chair with his head bowed, reading as the sun shines on his back.
As his house fell into disrepair, the surrounding houses on the streets near him were renovated and upgraded.
Estate agent Tony Andreacchio, managing director of Raine & Horne in Ashfield, who handled the sale, said the house was a mess when he first visited. Mawhinney had been ill for the last six months of his life, spending only a day or two in the house before being admitted to hospital for the final time.
Andreacchio found evidence of Mawhinney’s love of cricket, including two Don Bradman coins issued by the Mint.
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