Written by Kerrie Alexander
FROM his home in Hervey Bay, Tom McArthur developed a range of natural creams, lotions and soaps made from pawpaw extract that is said to have helped ailments that other traditional medicines could not.
His creation made on that kitchen bench some 20 years ago would later be known as McArthurs Natural products, but not before Tom shared the love with local residents.
The loving father was known as an incredibly generous man who often gave away his products to residents’ in need, in particular elderly folk, even though they were for sale in his small Urangan shop, which also doubled as his popular Fryer Tucks Takeaway store.
The idea behind the all-natural skin care range was inspired by Tom’s time in the armed forces in Malaya as a mechanical engineer, where he would experiment with fruit and vegetable treatments
to relieve the pain of fungal infections caused by long periods wearing army boots.
He later found what he described as “liquid gold” in pawpaw extract.
Many loyal customers testimonies were documented on the television news program Today Tonight, who followed the McArthur family story for almost a decade.
Speaking with Alive Magazine, his son Darren said his father’s intention was more to help people
in need rather than a monetary gain.
However, the only way to carry out a promise of continuing to help people with a one-of-a-kind creams and tonics to his late wife Linda, was to set up a factory and take the brand national.
Unfortunately, the family are no longer involved with the company.
Tom is now battling Alzheimer’s and lives in a nursing home but his legacy is now in the safe hands of Darren who spent many years at that same kitchen bench in Hervey Bay, learning the tools of the trade.
While the ingredients differ, the passion is the same.
“I made a promise to my dad that I would carry on the family tradition and name with my own formula,” Darren said.
That’s when Real McArthur PawPaw Products was born.
The 49-year-old set up a small plantation on an isolated property on the Adelaide River in the Northern Territory, starting with three pawpaw trees and eventually branching out to over 300 today.
His products are now being sold around Australia.
“Dad was incredibly proud to see me doing what I’m doing, but he doesn’t talk much now.”
Darren is proud to have developed new and improved products, which has been met with positive feedback from his customers.
“The technology back then isn’t what it is today in the creams, it’s so much more powerful,” Darren said.
“You can mix a fair few of the enzymes to get different reactions … it’s crazy.
“One word to describe the pawpaw products is precious.
“It’s like the old days when you put something on and you can feel it instantly work, you can feel
the relief and know you’re putting something on that’s good for your skin.
“It’s full of every nutritional item known to man and it’s vegan friendly as well.”
While he is happy being a oneman show right now, Darren said he would like a silent partner to
eventually grow the company and start a charity to honour his dad’s life-long dedication to helping
“It would be great to build a hospice … that’s what dad wanted to do in Hervey bay.
“He wanted something like a health retreat for the local elderly.
“Hopefully, that’s something we can do in the future.”