Mick remains a cut above at butchery

Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
Butcher Mick Davey is a Geraldton institution, having worked in the local business for 35 years. But these days, he knows every day at the shop could be his last.
Camera IconButcher Mick Davey is a Geraldton institution, having worked in the local business for 35 years. But these days, he knows every day at the shop could be his last. Credit: Peter Sweeney, Geraldton Guardian

It’s midafternoon on a still Geraldton day. A lady stands opposite a 111-year-old shop and takes a photograph.

A minute later she and her husband walk into Mick Davey Butchers.

She says her grandad, Mick Waller, used to own the shop.

“Knew him, used to work for him,” Mick Davey replies.

“We used to live here for 10 years from the mid-60s to the mid-70s and I wondered if the shop was still here,” the lady says.

“Been here (the shop) since 1908, not much has changed around here,” Mr Davey replies.

“Look up there, his name and a photo.”

Mr Davey and the travelling retired couple reminisce about old Geraldton abattoirs for another minute or two, before the man ponders if the shop will live another century.

“Fair chance, but someone else will probably be here,” Mr Davey says in a dry manner which is as much him as his name is.

Right now, 100 days, not years, is on his mind. For he knows every day at the shop could be his last. Around Christmas, Mr Davey was diagnosed as having idiopathic cerebellar ataxia, of which he says there is no known cause or cure.

Cerebellar ataxia can result from many diseases and can cause an inability to co-ordinate balance, gait, extremity and eye movements. They have all hit Mr Davey and are now making inroads.

“That’s not good for anyone; let alone a butcher,” he says, further proof of his dry sense of humour.

Despite a grim health diagnosis, Mick Davey hopes to continue serving the community for as long as possible.
Camera IconDespite a grim health diagnosis, Mick Davey hopes to continue serving the community for as long as possible. Credit: Peter Sweeney, Geraldton Guardian

“I go to Perth for a test. I go to Perth for another test. And guess what, I go to Perth for another test. Nobody knows how to treat it.”

Mr Davey, 68, came to Geraldton from Pingelly in 68 — 1968.

“Been a boner, meatworker, butcher virtually all my life. Been working in this shop 35 years, owned it the last 20,” he says.

“Never been the best talker, but now my speech and co-ordination, my balance, my ability to walk are going. It seems like countdown.”

Maybe Mick, but you still move meat the quality of any in the country.

And all the thank you certificates and notes on the walls are testament to what you’ve given the community.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails