BY ED WEST
KWIK SAVE owner Albert Gubay has promised to give away half his estimated £500 million to Catholic charities when he dies.
The 82-year-old has already put £480 million in a charitable trust, leaving him just £10 million to get by, but he announced last week that he has even grander ambitions for his charitable work. “I want to carry on supporting good causes, but my whole focus in the next few years is to work as hard as I can to meet my target of a £1 billion charity,” he said. “Every penny wasted or lost reduces the pot available to the charity.” Born in North Wales to a Jewish Iraqi father and Irish Catholic mother, Mr Gubay sold sweets as a youngster before launching the first Kwik Save store in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, in 1965.
He later sold the supermarket chain for £14m and invested in property, as well as buying the Total Fitness gym network.
In 1997 he told a television documentary about the pledge he made as a young man, which he intends to keep.
“After the war I came out of the Royal Navy with a demob suit and £80. I borrowed £100 and made the pact with God: make me a millionaire – and you can have half of my money.” He added: “My belief in a day of reckoning keeps me on the straight and narrow.” Half the income from the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation, which is run by Mr Gubay’s second wife, Carmel, must be spent on projects connected with the Catholic Church, with the rest distributed at the discretion of the trustees.
Mr Gubay is not the first Catholic multi-millionaire to give away his fortune. Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan intends to donate to charity his entire £660m fortune before he dies.