Isaac and Susan Wakil had more influence in Pyrmont than most of the people who have lived here. As youngsters they fled from Iraq and Bessarabia (now Moldova/Romania) to Sydney, where they met and married in 1955. They made their fortune in the clothing industry, and during the 1970s invested the proceeds in property. Much of their stock was derelict buildings, many of them in Pyrmont, including the Terminus hotel.
For many years they resisted all appeals to develop or sell, until 2015 when they began to realise properties which had become immensely valuable in the intervening years. With these funds they created charitable trusts and have donated much of their fortune to health and medical research at Sydney University and St Vincent’s Hospital, Opera Australia, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Sydney Jewish Museum, and educational scholarships.