Jenny and I are honoured to be family friends of the Grimwoods as this relationship has several deep and interconnected threads.
My own personal relationships with Dinny cover farming at Esperance, exploration drilling at Forrestania, Kanowna and Mt. Munger, property developments in South Perth and, more recently, with Dinny as a supporter of the free-market individual responsibility thinking, promoted at our Mannkal Foundation.
Our family relationships ran deeply as Maureen’s sister, Kath, was like a second mother for my four children during the frantic exploration years in Kalgoorlie, when none of us had a chance to get to know our own families as they were growing up.
Let me turn to Dinny’s exploration drilling days.
Dinny, as many of you know, had a unique style of doing business.
He always went way beyond minimum standards to a point where he was regarded as a valued member of the company for whom he was drilling.
This was obvious to me as I had a long relationship with Geopeko; during those years regarded as Australia’s foremost exploration team.
It is not often that you see such a strong relationship develops between a contractor and the company and Dinny’s relationship with Geopeko, and with all his clients, was such that little documentation was ever needed. He had the ability to read their minds and they read his mind. It developed into an excellent relationship every time.
After the hectic exploration years Dinny and I formed a property development joint venture to develop some high-class apartments in South Perth, appropriately called Kanowna Court.
Yes, those were the days when interest rates ran up to 18% and Custom Credit (the finance company), at that time, were busy ‘squeezing us’. They had to sell one of our apartments, every month, just to meet the interest payments.
They say you have to be incredibly careful in selecting your business partner, even when times are good, but even more importantly let me tell you that is the case when times are bad and Dinny was still good company, even though we were being financially demolished, at that time.
Strangely enough, some people never learn, and I went back in and repeated the same exercise myself at Mandurah, some years later, with some waterfront property and, as I was again being ‘squeezed’, Dinny this time was a buyer and he ended up buying a prime waterfront apartment for half price! I remember him telling me smilingly, that “Ron, it is times like this when it is much more fun being a buyer, than a seller.”
Of more recent times I have also valued Dinny’s ongoing support and, particularly his company. Also, Sheryl’s support and wisdom. They both managed to bring a multi dimensioned approach to my very one dimensioned way of thinking.
I will miss my friend and colleague, who truly showed how often, some ordinary things, are made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.
I am honoured to be part of this service today, thank you Maureen and family.
Ron Manners AO