A.M. “MILLER” GOODWIN    2nd October, 1930 – 3rd March, 2019

Miller Goodwin, extreme left of the seated row.

Our industry lost a legend on  Sunday, 3rd March, 2019 when Miller Goodwin passed away peacefully in his sleep.  He was aged 88.  Miller was a loving husband to Jan, and they had a fun retirement, getting involved in university studies, and volunteer work.  Miller was also a loving father to their four children, Tony, Jo, Colin, Fiona and their families. He had great genes and was Pa to nine grandchildren and Great-pa to two great- grandchildren, who thought he was just the ants pants. Miller was a much loved and highly respected man in his community with many close friends.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, 15th March, at the MCC Bowls Club.  19/23 Swinburn Avenue Hawthorn 3122.    This is an opportunity to pay our respects to a true gentleman.

Miller was actively involved in the industry over 50 years and  maintained contact with the “Golden Oldies”  a tightly knit cohort of retired drycleaners, allied traders and launderers. They met regularly for some years and it is sad that the photograph at right contains so many of our people who have gone on before Miller. But perhaps there will be a Golden Oldies Reunion in the heavens.



Miller Goodwin loved drycleaning, and was always so happy I will leave you with Miller’s address to DIA Tasmania at Shearwater in May 2010.  The points he raised are as relevant now as then. Miller  gave us all a nostalgic look at the industry over the past 40 years and an insight into life after business. Miller lived up to his nick name of “have a chat” and thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.  He spoke of how he and Pat have also been working with the University on measuring their gait and stability as part of an examination of the ageing population, and why falls happen, how to prevent them. Good people!



There is nothing new in the industry, but things are done differently. Things are a bit tougher. Goodness knows what things we will be paying for tomorrow. We have to train ourselves and train our people. Without this we cannot be successful.

A few items, one in particular. We have a big investment in our plant. The pharmacy at the end of the street has a big investment, too. We are very involved with our fellow small businesses.

Hygiene. Never met her, but she’s all over the world! Look at our local pharmacy and how the promote themselves and their businesses. The understand the are in healthcare, so the are clean. The need people to trust them, so the promote a professional image in ever staff member. Name tags! Company name! Why don’t we have that? Their advertising, signage, cleaned up on a monthly to 2 month basis, but redoing the paint ever 3 years so their standing in their community is unparalleled.

I can’t see why we couldn’t be updated, cleaned, and promote ourselves better! There are still drycleaners whose shops look like something out of the Sixties. Concrete floor, patched carpet, a bit of household paint slapped around outside.

Another thing in common between dry cleaners and pharmacies, we must be members of our local business trading community. You need to know what is going on, talk to other people about how they are finding business. The local Councils often try to push things through. Be a part of the business landscape: outside of the supermarket you might well have the greatest financial commitment in our community.

Several drycleaners in the room indicated the are indeed Members of their local Chambers.

Miller noted that Councils will sometimes dig up a street to la new pipes, and will just close off the street. If this happens to you, do you know how to claim for loss of business?  Do you have that feature in our insurance? Ask the Council what is going on, get answers. In one recent case the private contractors didn’t even have a timeframe and Council hadn’t been to see any of the local businesses to advise them ahead. Council was quite properly horrified at the very real prospect of being sued, and had half the street open the next day. But. Did the drycleaner lose business due to this? Not just a couple of days profit? Was their customer forced to go somewhere else, and did they stay with this new company.

Vince Bourke told delegates that recently he nearly fell off his chair when his water bill came in at $6,000 when it was usually below $1,000-They were insisting he pay the money up front while the matter was ‘discussed’, until he got the Ombudsman involved. Turns out, it was a new meter and it was incorrectly calibrated. Of course their defence was “we’ve never had this problem before”. Check your metering daily, and record it diligently. Your records could save you.

Miller led discussion among delegates, here are a couple of comments:

  • Philip Littlejohn said you need to know what your fixed costs are (rent, HP), and what your variable costs are (staff, soap) and have a very good idea of what your utility costs are.
  • Julian Sellers calculated it cost $5-26 to clean and press a pair of pants in 2005-What are you getting now?
    If you have a plant with the capacity to produce 100,000 pieces but you are actually processing 60,000 —what does that do to your costs structure? How do you apportion those fixed costs.

Miller mentioned that ‘on the Mainland’ shirts services are a growing business, as more people live in units, apartments, and they don’t have line space for washing and drying.

Thank you Miller Goodwin, for being a wonderful man, a great industry friend and contributor, and a first class human being.

You will be missed. xx