Anthony (Tony Kosky) OAM
18/04/1941 - 04/08/2023
Today it is my sad duty to inform the club of the passing of Tony Kosky OAM. Tony was a member of the club for over 44 years and during that time he endeared himself to everybody who had the joy of working with him. I don’t think he would mind me describing him as the club’s Little Big Man, not big in statue but, a giant in achievements for the club.
Tony Kosky was born in Melbourne in 1941, and after attending Melbourne Grammar School he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne. After a year of work experience in London he joined the family company which was engaged in import, export, manufacturing and retailing of fur and leather products. With the demise of the fur industry in the mid-l980’s,Tony established a trading and consulting business (Global Business Links) concentrating on China where he had accumulated over 20 years of experience. Trade with China at that time, was in its infancy and Tony was a trail blazer. He was a founding Board member and State President of the Australia China Chamber of Commerce & Industry and was Vice President of the Australia China Business Council.
Tony was nominated for membership of the Rotary Club of Melbourne in 1978 by Rabbi Dr Hermann Sanger. At that time Tony was the youngest member of the club, at 37 years of age. He was advised not to be a “lunch time member”, but to actively participate, and he did so with relish. His committee service was prodigious and far too extensive to outline here, however, I should mention the Welfare of the Young Committee on which he served for over four decades. He was on the Board for four years, Vice president in 1993/94 and President of the Club in 2002/03.
Tony played a major role in fundraising activities. Once again they are far too numerous to mention but we couldn’t forget Operation Crossroads, Claremont Homes for the Aged and the Baker Medical Research Centre. He was also very proud of his contribution in organising the very successful International Rotary Conference in Melbourne in 1993, and the establishment of the Arts Committee in his Presidential year. In 1993 he was made a Paul Harris Fellow and in July 2019 he was recognised with this club’s highest accolade, Honorary Life Membership.
In the 2004 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Tony was awarded a medal in the Order of Australia for service to the development of Australian business links with China, and to the community through the Rotary Club of Melbourne.
Tony passed away last Friday morning 4 August after suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia for many years.
The club has lost a giant and we have lost a dear friend.
As they say in Hebrew - zikhrono livrakha- may his memory be a blessing.