Mick Daddo is old-school. Work hard. Get involved. Help people. Says it’s in his DNA. Born in East Malvern just years before World War II, this sailing enthusiast with a familiar last name has steadfast connections to community. While 1934 may be a lifetime away, with an ocean of experience churning beneath well-weathered shoulders, Mick’s still sharp as a tack.
With an early career in the wool industry, astute stock market sensibilities and a passion for making sure people with disabilities have quality of life, Mick makes the most of what he’s got and gets on with it. Settling on the Peninsula about 20 years ago after a life in the suburbs of Melbourne and a stint in Noosa, Mick and his wife, Ruth, are seaside stalwarts. Four children – Michael, Kip, Kate and Jane – and 12 grandchildren later, this Mornington Yacht Club Club Person for 2019-20 reflects:
“Some of the best times of my life were working in the wool industry. I’d completed a Diploma in Textiles at what was the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and spent six months in the shearing sheds picking and evaluating wool. It was great work. You got to travel around Australia too. I joined a wool buying firm and worked with the big wool stores in North Melbourne and Footscray, valuing and buying wool for clients who were mainly international. It was very physical work and you started at 7am and just kept going. Then I moved on to the stock market.”
From shearing shed to floor trader? Doesn’t seem to fit. Mick disagrees: “I thought that broking would suit me and I was right. We’d spend all day in a sale room dealing in shares with an A-Z call system. It’s not like that now. Then I went on to floor trading. It was fast paced. Ruth and I were always beach people. I’d been holidaying on the Peninsula with my mum Norma, dad Pat and my brothers David and Peter since 1948. Ruth’s mum and dad had a beach house in Somers, which we took over after her parents died. We were both still travelling up to town and ended up in Melbourne while the kids finished school.”
Then back to Mornington where Mick joined the MYC in 2003 as a senior member with a Northshore 27 named Northern Light. In the earlier years he sailed from Cairns to the Solomon Islands in a cray boat, participated in three Hamilton Island Week races and he’s sailed Port Phillip Bay too many times to count. He’s also been involved in the MYC’s Sailability program since 2003-4.
Mick continues: “There’s a great atmosphere at MYC and I just love being around boats. I was also on the Sailability Victoria committee. There’s currently 100 clients participating in the MYC program now and I help with fundraising. I’m also a member of the Southern Peninsula Classic and Historic Car Club and was president from 2013 until 2016. I love cars and had an MGA up until 2010. I now enjoy being part of the club meetings and co-ordinating day events. Keeps me busy.” Mick also co-authors a monthly column in the SPCHCC’s magazine.
This Mount Eliza resident who loves to garden doesn’t sit still for long. He concludes: “I’ve gone from running to trotting to walking!” We laugh, but I reckon he’s still got plenty of wind left in his generous wide sails.