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Victor Grenning Part 1

Mr Victor Grenning M.Sc. (For.) honoris causs 1962, on 3 September 1984.

After a highly successful scholastic career at Brisbane Grammar School, where he gained first place in both the Junior and Senior Public Examinations, Victor Grenning won a scholarship to the University of Queensland, where he studied Applied Science. He won a University Full Blue for Rugby in 1919. Chosen as Rhodes Scholar for Queensland in 1919, he proceeded to Oxford University where he read Forestry during the years 1920 and 1923.

During his studies he carried out practical work in the forests in Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland, and also visited Denmark.

In 1923, before his return to Queensland, he was offered, and accepted, the position of Research Officer and Instructor in Silviculture and Working Plans in the Queensland Forest Service, and after arriving in Queensland to take up his duties, visited India, Burma, Malay States, and the Philippine Islands to study methods and other forestry problems.

He held the position of Director of Forests and Conservator of Forests in Queensland from 1932 to 1964, and was a member of the Land Administration Board for over 25 years. As a member of the Board of Trustees of both Brisbane Grammar School and Brisbane Girls' Grammar School, he was closely associated with the growth of these schools.

Mr Grenning was a Foundation Member of the University of Queensland Alumni Association.

Extract from Alumni News, December 1984. Issued by Alumni, Past Students of University of Queensland Association.

Victor Grenning Part 2

Victor Grenning Park was dedicated to his memory by the Chermside & Districts Historical Society Inc and the Brisbane City Council in 2001. The park is on Coxen Street, Zillmere.

Victor commenced his education at Zillmere School, sitting for Scholarship at the Normal school in Brisbane in 1912 and coming first in Queensland. He then went to Brisbane Grammar, completing Junior; he was going to take up teaching but was granted an extension scholarship enabling him to complete his Senior, which he did with distinction.

In 1918 he commenced an Applied Science course at University of Queensland. While at university he continued his sporting success as vice-captain of the First Fifteen and representing Queensland against New South Wales. In Cricket he played in the First Eleven and rowed in the First Four on the Brisbane River and in the Champion Fours of Queensland.

With his outstanding achievements in Academia and Sport he was nominated for, and awarded, a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in 1919 where he continued with outstanding success in both Academia and Sport.

In 1923 he left England and studied forestry in India, Burma, the Federated Malay States and the Philippines arriving back in Australia in 1924. Due to a series of unusual events he never took a degree at Oxford or Queensland but, due to his undisputed academic brilliance, this was no obstacle to his progress. However the Institute of Foresters of Australia refused to accept him as a member because he didn't have a degree; several of his colleagues resigned in sympathy with him.

He commenced work with the Queensland Department of Forestry and his progress was rapid with his appointment as Director of Forests in 1932 after he refused several offers from the Forestry Departments of other states.

During his term as Director the area under plantation increased from 8,194 acres to 107, 553 acres. He travelled to USA, Canada and New Zealand studying their forestry management and looking for new ideas to use in Queensland.

During the Second World War he had to manage the forests with half the staff because so many enlisted in the armed forces, at the same time he had to supply an increased amount of timber needed for the war effort. After the war he had to supervise the replacement of stocks and supply the timber needed for the housing boom that followed. The staff shortage was partly overcome by employing some 400 Baltic migrants from northern Europe.

Victor Grenning retired in 1964 and is described by Peter Holzworth, his biographer as: "one of Queensland Forestry's great Conservators - certainly the longest serving and one of the brightest." He "carried Forestry forward from its fledgling years .. and its formative times .. through the turbulent times of war and reconstruction towards the modern and relatively stable era of the 1960s. His is a formidable legacy."