At 78 years young, Murray is a regular visitor to The Shopfront and had experienced significant heartbreaking losses, pain and depression in his life.
Sharing his story, he highlighted how The Shopfront has made a positive impact on his life.
Murray was born in Adelaide and grew up in a poor family with his parents and six other siblings.
“I remember we all lived in just one bedroom, and my earliest recollection was of being hungry,” Murray said.
“I remember neighbours would call me over to say hello and give me bits of food to take home.”
His father endured hard work at a Tannery for more than 30 years and as a result, fell ill and unable to provide for his family.
“I was forced to leave what schooling I had been receiving, and at just 13 years of age, I started work in a soap factory to help my family,” Murray said.
Being in his twenties, Murray met and fell in love with Roslyn, a hairdresser from Perth who was visiting Adelaide at the time.
“I recall that when we moved to Perth, I arrived with just $10 in my pocket and we rented a little place for $10 per week,” Murray said.
Roslyn assured Murray that to not worry about their financial situations as she was confident that she could earn.
“I eventually found employment as a delivery driver for a bakery supplier, delivering yeast to cafes, bakeries and restaurants all over Perth,” he said.
Life was not rich however Murray and Roslyn were happy, having three children together- two daughters and a son.
“We loved them dearly,” Murray said.
However, life happened and the couple lost their youngest daughter at the age of seven due to cystic fibrosis.
Roslyn was affected by grief terribly, lost herself, became anorexic and passed away after years of suffering and pain.
“I was left on my own to bring up my two remaining children,” Murray said.
“Some years later, I received a telephone call from the Police on one an awful night telling me my oldest daughter, who was 19 at the time, had died in a car accident.”
After experiencing the deaths of his wife and two daughters, Murray fell into deep depression for ten years.
He wouldn’t leave his house for days at a time and dwell in his grief, thinking about the people he had loved and lost.
However, he refused to take the medicated route and fought it on his own.
He admitted that there are many times when he thought it would be the end of him and contemplated suicide once.
While trying to recover, he would walk around the city and go to St Mary’s Cathedral where he would sit to listen to music and be around people.
“It made me feel less alone,” Murray said.
He heard about The Shopfront about five years ago from his friend whom he met on the street and decided to pay a visit.
“I’ve been visiting The Shopfront regularly ever since; they don’t judge you here and are so welcoming,” Murray said.
“It does not matter who you are when you walk through that front door, you are treated with respect and genuine care.”
Murray said the volunteers at The Shopfront have done a wonderful a job and it made him want to pay back too by sitting and chatting with other visitors as he can relate to their stories of loss and poverty.
Murray said he is thankful to be able to help others when he sees they are in need.
“I guess I’ve always been a bit of a giver, even when we had very little,” he said.
“I make sure to take some of the leftover food at The Shopfront, if any, and give it to the homeless in the park nearby each time I visit.
“I don’t need a lot, to be honest, but it would be nice to win the Lotto so I can donate $1 Million to The Shopfront so they can continue helping more people,” Murray concluded.
Murray’s story is taken from the Special Issue of LIFELINKS 2018.
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