16 September 2015

Wool industry helps needy

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By Stock & Land

Fondly known as 'The Legg' to many in the wool industry, the late Michael Manion’s legacy continues to help rural children in need.

The generosity and support Mr Manion showed to young wool-buyers during his 43 years as a wool-buyer will be celebrated during the 54th end of trading season Carding Night at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds.

The event is attended by nearly 100 wool exporters from across the country who will bid on more than 20 bales, some consisting of top-line Merino fleeces, which have been donated to the fundraiser by wool exporters and brokers.

With the wool market’s looming winter recess stimulating prices, it is anticipated more than $25,000 will be raised to the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation (MMWIF).

The foundation was established last year as a reach-out support service for rural families or children in need.

“Michael was a larger than life, gregarious person who had empathy for people,” MMWIF director Len Tenace, Segard Masurel managing director, said.

“During his lifetime in the wool industry he always went out of his way to mentor and help young people in the trade.”

Michael Manion passed away, aged 61, in July 2014, six weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

He started his career as a junior wool-buyer with Mitsui (Japan) before moving to Laycock and then on to Elders' international wool division.

Mr Tenace said the Foundation’s volunteer directors had been overwhelmed by the generosity of the industry; a tribute to the respect people had for Mr Manion.

“We really want to make a big impact raising funds for the rural community,” he said.

“People on the land can find it tough at times – they’re at the mercy of the gods and sometimes children suffer because of it.

“This will help us identify and assist young people that need a hand with bills, books and life expenses.”

Less than two years old and the Foundation has already raised $30,000 which will be allocated to people in need by a MMWIF selection panel.

“I was one of those young people that joined the trade and was taken under Michael’s wing,” he said.

“He had a profound impact on everyone because he was one of those real good blokes.”

Paul Ferronato of Victoria Wool Processors, Nigel Rendell of United Wool, Len Tenace of Segard Masurel, Jim Michell of Sentdale, Ken Stock of Stock Wool and James Thomson, Australian Merino Exports. Photo: Laura Griffin
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