David Mandie, James Richardson duty-free founder, dead

Mandie, 93, died Wednesday in Melbourne after a brief illness.

Passengers at Ben-Gurion Airport may not be able to shop in the famous James Richardson duty-free stores on either Thursday or Friday, depending on the day of the funeral of David Mandie, group chairman and managing director of James Richardson, the Melbourne, Australia-based conglomerate that includes duty-free wines, spirits, cigarettes, fragrances and cosmetics as well as contract furniture and furnishings; property development and investments.
Mandie, 93, died Wednesday in Melbourne after a brief illness. Until then, he worked in his office every day keeping his finger on the pulse of his national and international operations.
His was not a rags-to-riches story but rather weed to riches. He started out selling tobacco in his father’s barber shop, and in 1953 he purchased the wholesale wine and spirits enterprise of hotelier Jimmy Richardson.
In 1972 he took the plunge into the duty-free retail business. From then on, he continued to flourish, becoming not only a multifaceted businessman but also a major philanthropist, whose generosity is reflected not only in his native Australia but also in many Israel projects.
The James Richardson Duty Free stores operate in Australia, New Zealand and Israel, with plans afoot for further global expansion.
The James Richardson store at Ben-Gurion Airport is one of the largest single duty-free stores in the world.
Duty Free chairman Garry Stock, an Australian who lives in Israel, has always been open to new ideas that will help to enhance the range of products and services offered by James Richardson.
Mandie’s daughter, Evelyn Danos, is CEO of the James Richardson Group.
Just like her father, she is a passionate Zionist who believes in business investment and human-potential investment in Israel.
Mandie not only invested in Israel himself but encouraged others to do so through the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce.
He was a frequent visitor to Israel and rejoiced in the country’s development, in which he had played a part.