Now he keeps other tradies supplied when not looking after his family
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.”
MAN OF STEEL: Grant Munro started in wood and now deals in steel.