Sale 123 Biography

Sunday, 01 March 2020

George Mihailuk, a public servant, an historian and a lifelong collector of coins, passed away on the 3rd of May 2018, aged 86. George was born in Harbin, China in 1932 and was of Russian descent. His mother Valentina was born in Vladivostok, Russia and arrived in China as an orphaned 4 year old. His father Timothy was born in Bila Tservka in the Ukraine and had resided in China since 1905 for business and work reasons. As a child, George was an avid reader and studied history, literature, and anthropology. He took a particular interest in collecting and researching coins from an historical perspective. He believed that coins, methods of monetary exchange, and the manner in which they evolved provided great insight into a nation, it’s people, and customs. Having completed his studies at the Alexander Pushkin Gymnasium in Harbin, China, George tutored in history and was hoping to further his studies in Russia. However, his application was rejected as the communist regime at the time was reluctant to permit expatriates and their descendants to return to the Soviet Union. 


Being stateless and foreseeing limited opportunities in China, George left Harbin and travelled on cargo ships around the world for over a decade through north and south Asia, India, Southern Europe, Middle East and South America. He collected coins and many artefacts along his travels. Prior to arriving into Australia in 1959, George lived in Brazil. Tired of travelling, George vowed never to leave Australia but continued his interests by visiting museums, libraries and countless  coin exhibitions. He worked for Telecom and lived for many years in Punchbowl and in his later years with his late wife Natalia in Leura. He is survived by 3 children and 3 grandchildren. His daughter, Tania is the State Member for Bankstown.


Tania Mihailuk (Daughter)

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