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Andrew Leonard (Ben) Benallack (1903–1966)

Foresters throughout Australia and many people in the timber industry were saddened to learn of the death on October 24 [1966] of Mr. A. L. [Andrew Leonard] Benallack, Commissioner of Forests in Victoria.

Ben, as he was affectionately known to many, entered the Creswick School of Forestry in 1920. He held the diplomas of Creswick and Canberra and was a member of the Institute of Foresters of Australia. He served a period of 4 years, 1949–1953, as Chairman of the Victorian Division of the Institute.

During his early years in the profession he served as assistant forester and later officer-in-charge of a forest district. He worked in the Powelltown, Millgrove and Neerim areas, the centre of the Victorian sawmilling industry at that time.

Ben served overseas for 5½ years in World War II and was O/C. 2/2 Forestry Company R.A.E., A.I.F., with the rank of Major. During the post-war years he founded and commanded 91 Forestry Squadron; he retired from active service in December, 1963.

After a period as Timber Controller for Victoria during the late 1940’s he returned to duty with Victorian Forest Service as its Sales and Marketing Officer and later as Chief of the Division of Economics and Marketing. During these years he became widely known in the timber industry as a man who gave a genuinely sympathetic hearing to everyone who took their problems to him.

His appointment as a Commissioner of Forests in 1961 was, in effect, due recognition of his profound knowledge of timber marketing in Victoria and a reflection of the esteem in which he was held by all sections of the timber industry.

Some of the organizations of which he was a member include the Tourist Development Authority, Natural Resources Conservation League, Timber Development Council of Australia, Australian Timber Industry Stabilization Conference and the Victorian Timber Development Association.

Andrew Leonard Benallack will be remembered as a man of wonderful personal qualities who contributed much to the status of the profession of forestry.

Deepest sympathy is extended to his sorrowing widow and relatives.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Benallack, Andrew Leonard (Ben) (1903–1966)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 April 2024.

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