Our Peo­ple

Now he keeps other tradies supplied when not look­ing af­ter his fam­ily

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - Weekly pro­file on our peo­ple by Courier jour­nal­ist Peter Hunt [email protected] ne­me­dia.com.au

HU­MANS have worked with their hands for mil­len­nia.

From the Pyra­mids to Stone­henge to the Great Wall of China, it was hu­man hands at work rather than mod­ern ma­chines.

Grant Munro is one 21st cen­tury man who has been very happy to con­tinue the tra­di­tion of work­ing with his hands.

Born in Lang Lang in 1952, the Munro fam­ily only spent an­other two years be­fore mov­ing to Kens­ing­ton.

“I at­tended Kens­ing­ton Pri­mary School and Footscray Tech,” he said.

“I was good with my hands at school so a trade was on the cards.

“Ba­si­cally I could have done any trade, but thanks to a job on a build­ing site I be­came an ap­pren­tice car­pen­ter and joiner.”

Grant be­gan his ap­pren­tice­ship when he was 15 and for the next five years worked on com­mer­cial mul­ti­storey build­ings.

“I worked on the Collins Place project and ended up spend­ing time in the of­fice look­ing af­ter projects,” he said.

“You got used to such a large build­ing - you grow with it and learn from ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I found my­self in the mid­dle of build­ing rorts.”

Grant then be­gan his own busi­ness, as a builder-ren­o­va­tor, till a back in­jury cur­tailed that.

“In 1980 I took over a Land­scape Gar­den Sup­plies and ran that for 15 years,” he noted.

“Even­tu­ally I went back to build­ing when I went to Tas­ma­nia for four years.

“I was in­volved in the restora­tion of The Her­mitage at Both­well in cen­tral Tassie - a sand­stone, brick and blue­stone Ge­or­gian era house built in 1836.

“It was a priv­i­lege to work on a build­ing with its orig­i­nal sand­stone and weath­er­board fea­tures - you were work­ing with his­tory, with what others had done 150 years ago.”

Grant worked on the main home­stead, the shear­ing shed and shear­ers quar­ters - all re­stored to their orig­i­nal con­di­tion.

“Af­ter the project I re­turned to Vic­to­ria and was in a role of build­ing su­per­vi­sor and project man­ager of a group of re­tire­ment vil­lages,” he out­lined.

Grant had his first con­tact with Mansfield in 1976 when he went wa­ter-ski­ing on Lake Eil­don.

“My wife Mar­i­lyn and I bought a block at Mac’s Cove and came up week­ends and hol­i­days,” he said.

“In 2000 we moved to Mansfield per­ma­nently, bought acreage and built a house.

“We had liked the re­mote­ness of Tas­ma­nia, get­ting away from city life and the High Coun­try was the same.

“There is a slower pace of life, it is more re­lax­ing - peo­ple have time to talk to you.”

Grant com­muted to Mel­bourne for a cou­ple of years be­fore tak­ing over De­latite Steel four years ago.

“I had done weld­ing in my youth and did ve­hi­cle main­te­nance in Tassie,” he said.

“My back­ground in metal work helped me out.”

And what is it like run­ning a busi­ness in Mansfield?

“Be­cause we are out of the way you try to cover what peo­ple need, so they do not have to leave town to shop,” he noted.

“You al­ways have time for a chat when some­one comes into the shop.” Life is not all work for Grant. “I am vice-com­modore of the Gough’s Bay Boat, Sport and Re­cre­ation Club,” he ex­plained.

“Un­for­tu­nately an in­jury stopped my promis­ing wa­ter­ski­ing ca­reer.

“Also I am sec­re­tary of the Mansfield Pis­tol Club.”

How­ever, if you want to find out what fills his time, then it is fam­ily.

“Mar­i­lyn and I have five boys, Dar­ren, Ja­son, Dean, Chris­tian and Glen, and heaps of grand kids,” he said with a smile.

“They cer­tainly fill a lot of my time.

“As I went camp­ing in the High Coun­try with my boys, now I take the grand­kids - out to­wards Dargo or through Woods Point to­wards Aber­feldy.”

That may be as far as Grant trav­els these days.

“In the early days I trav­elled, Fiji, Guam and Saipan,” he said. “I am not re­ally a trav­eller. “Though my wife is - she took off to­day for a month in France.”

Grant is happy to stay in the High Coun­try us­ing his hands for him and his cus­tomers.

“I will keep work­ing while I can - no re­tir­ing for me,” Grant said.

“I have a good busi­ness with good staff and good cus­tomers, so why would I want to stop.”

PHOTO: Peter Hunt

MAN OF STEEL: Grant Munro started in wood and now deals in steel.

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