Brotherhood's family connection lives on

Mike Tucker, the great-nephew of Brotherhood founder, Fr Gerard Tucker, keeps the family connection alive through volunteering. Here he reminisces about his famous relative and talks shop about our community stores.

Mike Tucker, the nephew of Fr Gerard Tucker, founder of the BRotherhood of St Laurence.

My strongest memory of my great-uncle is his 80th birthday.

I was about 13 years old. This particular party was at John Tucker's house, my father's brother.

There was an extraordinary number of close and distant relatives present. All of my first cousins were there, my dad and his siblings.

Gerard, one of six children, was the only male of his generation still alive.

I remember a man with a sense of humour. I looked up to this man who made witty comments and listened to you. He asked probing questions.

He was a man who was interested and interesting and clearly a great listener. He was a very curious and innovative man.

I looked up to him, even though I had little idea why. I didn't really know what he did or where he did it because he wasn't a person to point to himself. He was humble.

In 2008, (some 43 years later) I decided I wanted to give back to society. Having an emotional connection to the Brotherhood, I wrote to the executive director, Tony Nicholson, and offered my help.

Because of my background in operations and procurement, I joined the Social Enterprises Committee (a sub-committee of the Brotherhood Board), offering some thoughts on the community stores for the last seven years. 

I ran my own business training and mentoring with large industries within Australia, Singapore, China and the USA. I've been able to look at the Brotherhood's business from an arm's length. The challenge I see in the Social Enterprise Business is that logistically it is an “upside-down business”, as selling is not the major challenge but obtaining the right mix of donations and distributing those to the stores; the supply chain can make or break our collective store reputation.

I love volunteering. I meet people who enjoy the conversations about our improvement and the generation of ideas. We all receive pleasure and stimulus from our meetings - it's a win-win situation.

I have a strong motivation to volunteer for the Brotherhood. I would like to support the work of Gerard Tucker and David Scott while making a 3rd generation of Tucker at the Brotherhood. I like to think I can make a valuable contribution and I aspire to a long relationship with the organisation. 

Visit the Brotherhood's web page for current volunteer vacancies 

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