Andrew Leonard (Ben) Benallack.

Ben Benallack entered the Victorian School of Forestry at Creswick in 1920. His classmates included Alf Lawrence, who later became Chairman of the Forests Commission from 1956 to 1969.

Ben held the diplomas at both Creswick and the Australian Forestry School at Canberra.

During his early years he worked as assistant forester and later officer-in-charge of forest districts at Powelltown, Millgrove and Neerim which were the centre of the Victorian sawmilling industry at that time.

Ben served overseas for 5½ years during World War II as Officer in Charge of the 2/2 Forestry Company in England and later PNG. He rose to the rank of Major.

After returning from the war, Ben took the role of State Timber Controller during later stages of the Victorian firewood emergency.

On returning to the Forests Commission, he was appointed the Sales and Marketing Officer and later the Chief of the Division of Economics and Marketing.

Ben was an active member of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and served from 1949 to 1953 as Chairman of the Victorian Division.

During the post-war years he founded and commanded the 91 Forestry Squadron (The Woodpeckers) but retired from active military service in December 1963 at the age of 60.

He served as Chairman of the Mt Buller Alpine Reserve Committee of Management in the 1960s.

Ben was appointed as one of the three Commissioners of Forests in 1961, working with Alf Lawrence, until his death in October 1966.

And by all accounts he was a good bloke too.

Students at the Victorian School of Forestry in 1922.
Ben Benallack sitting third from left next to Alf Lawrence on his right and the school Principal Charlie Carter on his left.
Third row, fourth from left. Source: FCRPA Collection
Armed Australian Forestry troops marching down Broadway to City Hall Plaza in New York to be welcomed by Mayor La Guardia on 1 October 1943. Said to be the only occasion that armed foreign troops had marched through an American city since Independence. Legend has it that they also sang “Waltzing Matilda”. Source: AWM.
Australian Officers of the Forestry and Railway Companies at Alton, Hampshire in 1940. Captain Andrew Leonard (Ben) Benallack second right (back row), Captain Cyril Cole on the extreme left. State Library of South Australia.

3 thoughts on “Andrew Leonard (Ben) Benallack.

  1. Hi Peter … just curious, what was the “Victorian firewood emergency”? Could be the subject of another post!

    Regards John Schauble

    Sent from my iPad



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