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John Whitbread - A Great Man, Leader, Father and Friend

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The death of John Whitbread, company founder passes away.

It is with great sadness that we advise our friends, clients and business associates that John Whitbread passed away on Saturday 13th February, 2010.

John Albert Whitbread struck a rare balance in his life, being loved and respected as both a businessman and as a family man.

John was a strong character with an equally strong sense of fairness, a great protector of his family and those who worked for him, a beloved husband and father, a treasured grandfather known as Pa, and a valued counsellor and mentor amongst his business associates.

John was born in Melbourne on 28th March 1941.  At age 24, he married Margaret White, with whom he had three beloved children: Angela born in 1966, Claire in 1969 and John Paul in 1971.

John and Margaret founded Whitbread Insurance Brokers in 1978, with John as Managing Director and Margaret keeping the books. 

Today Whitbread Insurance Brokers has grown into a well-respected and influential business that employs over 65 people, including Angela, Claire and John Paul.

John played an influential role in the growth and wellbeing of the Body Corporate Industry.  In the 10 years prior to his death, he particularly enjoyed his involvement in Family Business Australia (FBA) where he was known as ‘The General’.

He also spent significant time with his grandchildren.  Following Margaret’s death from cancer in 1998, John devoted himself to being the best possible grandfather he could be in Margaret’s absence, a role he embraced as an honour. 

Wherever John was, he created a secure and welcoming place for his grandchildren – Caitlin, Joel, Jack, Thomas and Charlie – to be with him.

His other great passion after 1998 was farming.  John developed properties at Carslruhe, Sutton Grange and most recently at Willow Grove in East Gippsland. 

John also loved sailing and the sense of peace and freedom he found on the water.

He will be remembered most for his love of life, his children and his grandchildren, his success in business and for the respect and admiration accorded to him.


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