Ronald Clifford Andrews (1930 - 2003)
Ron Andrews was the founder and benefactor of the Andrews Foundation. The Foundation was established during his lifetime when Ron decided to bring forward a bequest in his Will to benefit the citizens of Pakenham, Victoria.
Mr. Ron Andrews was born to Stan and Merle Andrews in 1930 in a small house on Gembrook Road, Pakenham. He lived in the area his entire life and spent much of his youth in Nar Nar Goon, his later years in Berwick.
He started work at 14 in a paling spot mill operated by his father and then bought a truck to cart logs to a sawmill. When that did not prove profitable he borrowed 500 pounds to put a deposit on a sawmill at Longwarry.
Money made from the sawmill went into developing 650 acres of scrub and bush at Yannathan which was sold in 1969 to buy land in Pakenham at Mt. Shamrock where he established the Pakenham Blue Metal quarry in 1974
Ron developed a number of other business interests in the area and in 1989 a major interest became Debco Ltd, a supplier of gardening materials. Debco has since expanded into an Australia-wide operation as well as establishing strong markets in Japan, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and South-East Asia.
Despite travels to most parts of the world, it was around the West Gippsland area - especially Pakenham - that Ron felt most comfortable primarily because of family ties and the numerous and long lasting friendships he had established during his life. The Andrews Foundation gives preference to the communities within the West Gippsland region because of Ron's association with the area.
In 1993 Ron Andrews, through Rasma Properties, purchased Bolwarra Cattle station in far north Queensland. Later acquiring the neighboring property of Crystalbrook, the combined properties ran a total of 20,000 cattle on 225,502 hectares.
Ron Andrews was held in the highest respect by his employees and sub-contractors and, although prominent in business, tried where possible to avoid the limelight.
The Andrews Foundation has made significant donations to the Meadowvale Retirement Village (which Ron founded), Millhaven Hostel, Pakenham Nursing Home, Pakenham Hospital, Warragul Hospital, sporting clubs, churches, community centres and more.
Today Ron Andrews' legacy lives on through the Andrews Foundation. Leaving the Trustees to administer the Foundation ensures that the community will benefit for many more generations to come.