Ron’s long career has led him to experience a number of major world events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of communism in Russia and the Hong Kong handover.
Mining is in Ron’s blood. His grandfather WG Manners, the son of a Ballarat prospector, headed to the ‘wild’ west in 1895 to set up a mining engineering business in Kalgoorlie. WG Manners & Co originally designed and built mining plants and has today evolved to be known as Mannwest Group, headed by Ron.
He started out as an electrical engineer, training at Kalgoorlie School of Mines, and took over the family business in 1955. Croesus Mining was founded by Ron in the 1980s and during his time with the company it produced 1.275 million ounces of gold and paid 11 dividends. Between 1972 and 1995 Ron floated several Australian listed mining companies, before joining the board of a Canadian company with operations in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.
The mining industry has seen a number of changes in the past 60 years, such as the introduction of new technologies, growth and decline of commodity prices and altered business practices. Ron weathered these changes with humility, enthusiasm and good humour.
As a proponent of the free market model, Ron set up Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, a think-tank that sponsors students and events in both Western Australia and overseas. He is an active member of the Mont Pelerin Society and is on the co-ordinating committee for the Commonwealth Study Conference.
Ron is the author of five books – Poems of Passion, Heroic Misadventures – Australia: Four Decades- Full Circle, Never a Dull Moment, Kanowna’s Barrowman and So I Headed West – as well as numerous papers and addresses – many of which can be found on this website.
The Next Eureka Moment
“Put some words
into the Eureka time capsule,” they said – Me? – who already has a headful of stuff each time I go to bed!
“If you’re still around
in two thousand and fifty four,” they said, “you’ll be on the invite list.”
Well, there was an invitation, I simply couldn’t resist! And so it got me thinking
about splitting two hundred years into four –
the last three groups of fifty years –
and the fifty yet in store –
Eighteen hundred and fifty four to nineteen hundred and four – discovery dividends declared before the banking crash, Australia finding its feet again –
brave moves were made – with some quite rash –
Then came the second quarter, 04 to fifty four,
when the very bad overwhelmed the best –
Two world wars and a depression made it
not just rough, but very tough for those who headed west –
1954 til now – bad start but hope towards the end – restrictive policies discouraged –
some cautious experiments were made,
and enterprise, to our surprise, was actually encouraged –
So the next quarter is the one for us to make a stance – and we’ll be in there fighting – Yes! We still have a chance –
Government’s lofty plans for us
conflict with our own plan –
so can we shape our future now?
with time and thought and confidence, I reckon that we can!
So when they dig the capsule up
in two thousand and fifty four,
I’ll come from the West, join Eureka’s best – and ready to write some more!
– Ron Manners