Alpine Observer

Compassion, common sense and courage, Mannie’s strengths


KEVIN “Mannie” Radford was born in Burnie the third child of Bob and Ella Radford.

It was said his father while competing at the Sydney Royal Show in 1932 met a fellow axeman by the name of Mannie McCarthy, while congratula­ting him on the earlier arrival of his son Kevin, Bob made the comment “that he couldn’t be as ugly as you Mannie so I am going to rename him Mannie like you”, the name never changed from then on.

In 1938 their home was destroyed by a bushfire, they then moved to Bullock where his grandfathe­r George had a bush block – cutting sleepers, palings, beams etc. Bob then followed and worked the timber lines at Noogee, Yallourn and Powelltown.

In 1940 three businessme­n in Myrtleford Bill Allen, Ernie Sheers and Gordon Frame who owned Ovens Sawmill gave their contacts to Bob and Mannie moved to Roberts Creek - finished school at Bright, then commenced an apprentice­ship in Mechanics at Sharps of Bright, then worked the bush at weekends. After completing the apprentice­ship he worked full time in the bush at Havilah, Kancoona, Running Creek, Mt Jack and the Gap at Rosewhite.

Mannie became best mates with Fred Ivone in Myrtleford and in 1950 at the Ovens Hotel he met Fred’s sister Anella Ivone who was working as a housemaid.

They were married in October of 1950, they went on to have six children, I (David) being the eldest. Unfortunat­ely in 1954 Mannie had a training accident chopping a log and half his foot was cut off – luckily there was a young doctor at Myrtleford at the time who never hesitated in operating on the injury and it healed up cleanly.

Not to be deterred in 1954 he again chopped competitiv­ely and won 300 pounds at Corryong.

In 1955 Mannie then moved his family to Orbost with a contract to supply timber to Savoury’s Sawmill – Mannie also worked at Brunts and West as a chainsaw mechanic and saw doctor.

In 1963 the family then moved back to Myrtleford to milk cows as Orbost was hit by a credit squeeze and all sawmills shut down and never reopened again.

He then milked cows for the next 7 years, also grew tobacco for his brothers-in-law. In 1970 to 1985 he worked for the Dalbosco brothers in Myrtleford and from 1986 to his retirement worked at APM Timber in Albury. Anella passed away in 1988.

Mannie played football for Porepunkah Magpies - the whole team was rubbed out in 1949 due to rough play.

He was also a very good boxer – but in 1949 with Fred Ivone, both being short of money and trying to get back home to Myrtleford, Mannie decided to hop into the ring and fight Russell Sands, unfortunat­ely he got flogged, but earned £2, they got home, but he never fought again.

He had the three Cs covered to be a good policeman - Compassion, Commonsens­e and Courage - and applied all three in his everyday life.

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