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Bettina Bien-Greaves Mannwest

Concluding a long dinner discussion in the home of Bettina and Percy, 1982

Retiring and then passing away at the age of 100 years, was typically the style of Bettina Bien-Greaves — a friend of so many of us in the free-market Austrian economic movement.

Larry Reed and Tricia Beck-Peter (both of fee.org) have submitted a more detailed piece on Bettina here, so I will simply add some brief personal experiences and conclude with some photos.

Bettina, known to many as Ludwig von Mises’ Bibliographer and close friend.  For many years Bettina and her late husband, Percy Greaves, lived in the shadow of Mises.

My personal contact with Bettina started in 1975 when I was asked to prepare a submission on ‘economics in post-secondary schools’ to the Western Australian State Government. Who better to turn to for help than Bettina. That September 12, 1975 submission is here.

 

Bettina Bien-Greaves Mannwest

Bettina Bien-Grieves and Paul Poirot in her FEE office, September 16, 1982.

Bettina Bien-Greaves Mannwest

Bettina Bien-Grieves in her enlarged FEE office, September 1988.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years we kept in contact and I also enjoyed the legendary home hospitality of Bettina and Percy. When people adversely comment at my ‘disorganized office’ my mind always strays to the sight of Bettina’s desks (two photos above) when her original FEE office was full, they simply moved her into a larger office.

I love practical solutions as much as I loved Bettina herself. She will be missed by so many but what a legacy she has left for us.

Bettina Bien-Greaves Mannwest

Bettina Bien-Greaves and Percy Greaves in the shadow of von Mises, 15th September 1982.

1 Comment

  • Greg Runge, Brisbane says:

    Hi Ron

    Where to start with my personal recollections. I first met Bettina when I attended a week long residential summer course at FEE in that wonderfully restored Hudson River Mansion in Irvington in June 1978 – about a month before my 27th birthday. They told me that Greg Lindsay (who I have yet to meet after all these years) had called the year before. I later wrote in my Journal at the time that “The week at FEE has been one of the most uplifting in my life” – and how could it not have been living, listening and talking with people like Leonard Read, Ed Opitz, Bettina, Bob Anderson, Hans Sennholz, John Chamberlain, Henry Hazlitt, Ben Rogge and several other guest speakers who flew in from around the country. And of course the fellowship of all the other participants both in the FEE facility or late in to the night at the Alibi Bar down the hill in Irvington. And like you my feeble couple of comments were recorded in the visitors book at the Greaves home where we enjoyed fine food and a wine or two one evening with Percy and Bettina. Since 1978 I have exchanged annual Christmas letters and cards with Bettina until only a year or so ago. I know some got to meet her and her sister when they visited Australia many years ago but she didn’t make it to Melbourne where I was working at the time.
    Thanks for your photos, and the link to the FEE tribute to Bettina – a wonderful woman who leaves an amazing legacy. She was such an encourager. I have just pulled a couple of her and Percy’s books down from the shelf. In the front of her Free Market Economics Syllabus she has written “Greg – Mises has written that ideas live longer than artifacts, such as government built dams and pyramids. Let us hope that with the help of friends of freedom such as you, it will be free market ideas that survive. Best wishes Bettina Greaves” . The challenge still lies before us. Keep up the great work you are doing in your corner of the Vineyard! God bless!

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