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May 26, 2024

Vince Devine: 50 years a butcher

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Vince Devine

Brian Mollet

Popular Mullumbimby businessman Vince Devine has sold-on the butchery he has owned and operated for 33 years in town. After more than 50 years in the trade his decision to pull up stumps seems to sit well with him, although he was quick to add that he will still be an active part of the transition to the new owners, and more than likely do some work for them.

So shoppers in Mullum will still be able to share a chat and a few quick quips with the affable and witty Vince for some time to come. On Saturday he put on a free sausage sizzle outside the shop and it was a pleasure to watch an endless stream of happy friends and punters shake his hand and wish him well.

Vince was born in Whian Whian and his family moved to Main Arm when he was ten, where he attended the now-inactive Durrumbul school. ‘My eldest brother was a butcher, and my twin brother was a butcher. I had done some plumber’s labouring and banana work, but my mother showed me an ad in the paper for a butcher’s apprentice in Knight’s butchery in Lismore.

‘My hands were calloused and stained with banana sap so I was trying to hide them, but the first thing the boss asked me was to show him my hands’. Needless to say, Mr Knight saw some good potential work in those hands and took Vince onto a team of 22 butchers. ‘The trade was very different back then’, he adds. When asked what he thought made his shop a winner he said ‘behind any successful person or business is a powerhouse and supportive woman’, referring to his wife Karen.

Vince and Karen met when he was 15 at the Empire Theatre, which was located above the current Empire Cafe. Four years later they were married. His retirement plans were brought forward a year ago when he was diagnosed as having a blocked aorta valve. ‘Quite ironically I had a cow’s valve transplanted into my heart and I’ve never felt better’, he said. His future plans include slowing down, painting his house and travelling to Peru where his son and grandchildren live.

The Mullumbimby community wishes him well.

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