Brian Unthank, a dominant force in livestock and real estate sales in Albury and the surrounding area for more than six decades, has died at the age of 85.
The founder of Brian Unthank Rural, which has employed three generations of his family, originally moved to the area in the 1950s when he worked for New Zealand Loan.
His first posting as an agent was Boree Creek in a bygone era when it and other surrounding areas including Lockhart, Oaklands, Urana and Rand were all sheep selling centres in addition to larger centres of Corowa, Yarrawonga, Deniliquin, Wagga and Albury.
Mr Unthank and his wife Judy moved to Albury when he continued working for New Zealand Loan before its merger with Dalgety Australia at the end of 1961
Five years later he made his biggest career move and established BUR which presently employs three of his children, Susan, Gerard and Michael.
Mr Unthank suffered a major stroke last Saturday and died on Tuesday after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease last year.
"He worked 24/7, he was an agent through and through, but also a true family man," Susan said.
A private family burial was held in Albury on Friday due to the public gathering restrictions in place for the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Unthank was originally from Somerville on the Mornington Peninsula and attended St Patrick's College in Ballarat as a boarder from the age of 11
During his school years he obtained a wool classing certificate and his first job with New Zealand Loan was a cadet in its wool department.
He accepted an offer to join the livestock team working under the company's Victorian and Riverina auctioneer, Pat Barry.
He obtained his auctioneer's licence in 1955 and worked at the Newmarket saleyards in Melbourne before the move to the Riverina in an era when his contemporaries included Kevin Hines, Kevin Rourke, Ken Skeen, Ron Ferguson, Monty Hancock, Edward Trenchard, Geoff Selby, Jeff White, Keith Williams, Pat Brennan, Mike Scollard, Gerard Ryan, John Evans, John Waite, David Tilson, Leon Pain, Toy Mulqueeney, Lang Peterkin, Wally Treloar, Jim Smith, Graeme Ward and Bob Winnett.
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BUR started out in Townsend Street when Mr Unthank was joined by Jim Williams, receptionist Mary Hynes and wife Judy.
"Jim was the man who kept dad in check," Susan said.
Mr Williams also worked for New Zealand Loan in Albury before joining BUR a year after its inception.
"He was very well known as a gun livestock auctioneer," Mr Williams said.
"He was brilliant at his craft and his knowledge of livestock was really good.
"The business was going so well he invited me to join him in 1967 and was kind enough to offer me a share of the business.
"The smaller country markets were starting to peel off at the time we started up.
"The Wodonga cattle market was where we did most of our business.
"But I was known as the hand-brake of the operation.
"Brian was a very generous fellow and was a great family man as you can see today with his whole family involved in the business."
Mr Williams worked with Mr Unthank until 1987.
The company also had stints in Ebden and David streets before its most recent move to "Bolderwood" in Olive Street.
Gerard and Michael joined the business after they also attended St Patrick's in Ballarat when the company's major focus was servicing the rural sector.
But in 1998 the business was separated into rural and real estate entities with the latter becoming a bigger priority for Mr Unthank.
He was joined in the real estate arm by daughter Susan, who had previously worked as a nurse.
"We worked alongside eachother for 22 years and he kept up with the times," she said.
"He sold a lot of property and there are some properties he sold five times."
Susan's sons Tom and Bart also work for BUR.
Mr Unthank's wife Judy died in 2010 and he is survived by his children Susan, Catherine, Gerard, Michael and Lisa and their families.