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Shock and joy: tenant receives the deed to her rented home after 20 years

John Perrett's was everything from a pharmacist to a philanthropist, his generosity lives on.

Shock and joy: tenant receives the deed to her rented home after 20 years
Cover Image Source: YouTube | A Current Affair

Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 6, 2023. It has since been updated.

John Perrett lived a rich and diverse life marked by generosity. Throughout his 83 years, Perrett wore many hats—pharmacist, football player, property investor, and philanthropist. He built a multi-million-dollar fortune, much of which he generously donated to charity.

In his later years, Perrett moved into a nursing home while battling Parkinson's disease. He left a lasting legacy in his community as one of its most generous members. Perrett passed away in September 2020 at 86, bequeathing $19.6 million to the Royal Melbourne Hospital's nephrology department, where he had received a life-saving kidney transplant decades earlier.



"We are extremely grateful as a department of the hospital at the Royal Melbourne Hospital for such a bequest. It's just amazing,” Professor Nigel Toussiant from the Royal Melbourne Hospital said. “That kidney transplant lasted 30-plus years and it was still functioning when he passed away in his mid-80s. That was a life-saving gift, I guess, to take him off dialysis and he was obviously grateful for the care that he received, for all the doctors and nursing and medical staff to look after him at the Royal Melbourne Hospital." The hospital plans to pay tribute to Perrett and his record contributions with commemorative plaques.



According to My Tributes, Perrett's "friendships were few but cherished." He enjoyed football, tennis, and riding across paddocks during his youth. He spent most of his professional life as a pharmacist on Main Road West and also tended to a small farm his father had bought. He was devoted to his father and cared for him in his final years.

7 News reports that Perrett had no living family and rarely spent money on himself.



One community member who will forever be grateful to the philanthropist is his tenant, Jane Sayner. The 74-year-old Melbourne woman moved into a two-bedroom unit with a garden in St Albans, northwest of Melbourne, nearly 23 years ago.“[John] had this old, old television with a green picture, and it had this hum in it, and for years, we would sit there, and I’d say, ‘John, you would really appreciate the cricket more if you could see it properly,’” Jane told the outlet. Despite living in the unit she rented from Perrett for decades, she never knew the home would be hers one day. "(I) still sometimes think, 'Did this really happen'?" she told A Current Affair. "I got a phone call from him one day, and he said, 'I want you to talk to my solicitor; he is here at the moment, and can you give him your full name because I'm leaving you the unit.'" Sayner retired from working at an Epping market and is enjoying time in her garden. "I thank him still, every day of my life … just privately, I say, 'Thanks, John,'" Sayner said.

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