David Langworthy was born in Paddington 73 years ago. He and wife, Jean, have four sons, one daughter (all aged between 35 and 50) and 11 great grandchildren.
His father, whom he describes as “brutal”, was a Commander in the Navy. David left home at the age of 17 and his first job was as an accountant at Vic Rail. When he was 21, he and Jean married and he went into partnership in a printing business, which “didn’t work out”, so he went to Dandy Credit Co-op, where he met Bob Powell. He also met Vin Taranto, who introduced him to the 4-Way Test, and Kevin Bentley.
David was a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and had concerns about some aspects of the Credit Union management, so he put them to the Board, who rewarded him by promptly sacking him!
David was employed by Viscount Caravans as National Marketing Manager, with particular responsibility for NSW. He didn’t enjoy it. The glamour soon wore off and, after transferring to Victoria as State Manager, he realised that he had “different values”. He was introduced to Roy Smith, who had marriage problems and, in six months, the business closed. Then someone else introduced him to a bedding manufacturer and they set up an arrangement on a 50/50 basis, selling stock on consignment. Eventually, he took over the stock and started his own bedding business.
In 1989, a Recession came along and everything was liquidated. Then, with son Mark and Mario Spiteri, he set up Bev Marks, growing to 12 showrooms but, thanks to Covid 19 restrictions, 10 stores have had to be closed. They have an importing company and an accounting company tacked on to the main business. All his kids work in the business.
David joined Martin Pater in the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills on 27 August 1982, becoming President in 1996. He describes his experience as “an interesting journey”, enjoying the company of people “with the same values”.
In 1993, he had his first introduction to RI, manning the desk at the Melbourne Convention. Since then, he has been to 16 International Conventions and, at the Brisbane Convention, he was introduced to Shelta Box, becoming President of SB Australia in 1996 and 2016. David moved on to co-found Disaster Aid and help set up DA around the World.
David’s next project is in North Korea, where he hopes to set up a peace mission on the Korean Peninsula.