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Victor (Peter) Grenning (1899–1984)

Victor Grenning, n.d.

Victor Grenning, n.d.

Victor (Peter) Grenning, former Conservator of Forests, Queensland, passed away in Brisbane on 31 August 1984.

Peter was born in Brisbane on 17 January 1899. His secondary education was at the Brisbane Grammar School from 1913–1917 following which he enrolled at the University of Queensland for a Degree in Applied Science. In 1919 he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study forestry at Oxford University under Professor Troup. He completed his studies at the end of 1923 but because he contracted malaria he was unable to sit for his final exams and consequently did not receive his Masters Degree.

He returned to Queensland via Burma, India, Malaysia and the Philippines before joining the State Forest Service as research officer and instructor in silviculture and working plans in 1924. In 1927 he was appointed Working Plans Officer and in 1929 he was appointed to the Forestry Board.

Following the dismissal of E. H. F. Swain as Director, he was appointed Director of Forests in 1932 (subsequently redesignated Conservator of Forests in 1960), a position he held with distinction until he retired in 1964. He was instrumental in leading the Department into plantation establishment (from a few hectares to more than 40 000 hectares) and also, in adding many of the islands within the Barrier Reef to the National Park estate.

During his term as Conservator, he represented Queensland at forestry conferences in Australia, New Zealand and United States and undertook study tours of Canada, U.S.A., South Africa, Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

He was a scholar-athlete of very high standard (representing the State in hockey in the late 1920’s) and was on the board of trustees of the Brisbane Grammar School from 1942 to 1968 and Chairman of the Board between 1946-1952. In recognition of his achievements, service to Forestry and his academic attainments, he was awarded the Degree of Master of Science in Forestry (Honoris Causa) by the University of Queensland in 1951.

He joined the Institute in 1952 and was made an Honorary Member in 1979. In 1959 he was awarded the N. W. Jolly Medal (the first time the medal was awarded) for outstanding service to forestry in his home State and Australia.

He is survived by his wife Helen (Nell), his two daughters, Dorothy and Nancy, and his son Peter.

Peter will be remembered with great affection by his many friends for his unfailing courtesy, kindness, patience and good cheer.

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Citation details

'Grenning, Victor (Peter) (1899–1984)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

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Victor Grenning, n.d.

Victor Grenning, n.d.