Ivor Jones


In the last issue of this publication I wrote of one Gilbert Mant who was a columnist and a journalist from 1924 through to 1956 when after a journalist strike he was demoted from a “A” class journalist to a “B” class journalist by the Fairfax organisation. He decided to seek employment elsewhere and so he became a Publicist or rather a Public Relations Officer with the Royal Agricultural Society in Sydney for the next 13 years earning more than he had with the “Sun-Herald” as a “A” grade journalist..

In his memoirs that he wrote at the age of 92 back in 1994 he commented on more of his life as an older person. He had led a somewhat dissolute life and had been led into all sorts of adventures and traumatic experiences. At the age of 90 he still ate, drank and did all the wrong things. He followed what he called his “4B” diet – beer, butter, bacon and more beer with plenty of salt He regarded beer as the staff of life, not bread. As a young journalist many years earlier, he had interviewed a group of 90 year old men in a Sydney old men’s home. He said that half the fellows attributed their longevity to having never smoked or tasted alcohol, the other half attributed it to the fact that they had smoked and drunk alcohol in large quantities. I mention this as when he was employed as the Publicity Officer of the Australian Jersey Herd Society, he claimed that he had proved conclusively, quoting medical sources, that nobody really knew what cholesterol was and that plenty of rich Jersey milk, cream and butter was good for you. Mind you he also said that if he had been working for the margarine mob he could have just as conclusively proved, by quoting other medical experts, that butter was bad for you. As he said finally “that is what publicity men are for”.

Gilbert Mant was a man of the country at heart which would have helped him secure the position of Publicity Officer for the Royal Agricultural Society, although he was raised in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs being born at Darling Point then moving to Vaucluse. His father had been raised at a large property of 107 sq. miles (27,682 hectares) named “Gigoomgan” in Northern NSW. At the time of his death Gilbert Mant had retired to Port Macquarie.

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