This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (MUP), 2000
Arthur Frederick (Dick) Manchee (1874-1956), grazier and company director, was born on 16 May 1874 at Doondi station, St George, Queensland, fifth son and sixth child of John Charles Manchee (d.1913), an English-born grazier, and his wife Georgina, née Baldwin, who was born in New South Wales. John was of Huguenot descent and had come to the Victorian goldfields in 1852. Arthur, nicknamed 'Dick', spent his boyhood on the family's Glen Moan station, 25,000 acres (10,117 ha) at Willow Tree, New South Wales. Sent to The King's School, Parramatta, he excelled at sport, especially Rugby and cricket (captain first XI, 1891-92): while at school he began playing half-back for the famous Wallaroo Football Club; with P. S. Waddy, he played cricket for 'Twenty of Cumberland and District' against Lord Sheffield's visiting English team in December 1891.
After jackerooing for six months on Binneguy station (32,000 acres, 12.950 ha), Moree, Manchee spent about ten years in Sydney gaining experience in a merchant's office. Before business commitments forced his retirement from Rugby, he represented New South Wales against Queensland (1894) and Victoria (1895). On 28 February 1901 at St Augustine's Anglican Church, Neutral Bay, he married Nellie Sparke. Arthur joined two of his brothers to purchase (1908) Binneguy. From 1914 he was in partnership with his youngest brother Alfred Lionel; they acquired Yamburgan and Cashmere West stations in Queensland, and Ontario and Retreat in New South Wales. On the dissolution of the partnership in 1928, Arthur became sole owner of Binneguy, which was managed by his sons Richard and Alan. He lived at Neutral Bay, Sydney.
Manchee's executive abilities were keenly sought. A foundation board-member (1919-55) of the Graziers' Co-operative Shearing Co. Ltd (Grazcos Ltd from 1949), he was also a director of the Stock Journal Newspaper Co. Ltd, Sydney Meat Preserving Co. Ltd, Country Broadcasting Services Ltd, Globe Worsted Mills Ltd, Cleveland Shoe Co. Ltd, Australian Guarantee Corporation Ltd and Eldorado Tennant Creek Ltd. He was appointed (1925) to represent cattle interests on the Meat Industry Advisory Board, and was for many years an executive-member and spokesman of the Graziers' Association of New South Wales. In 1931 he chaired a special committee to examine J. B. Cramsie's proposal for a graziers' meat company and chain of butchers' shops in Britain. In 1939 he supported the correct labelling of wool and woollen products sold in Australia.
A plain and forceful speaker, Manchee took a practical interest in his old school; he was a committee-member (1904-09) and town vice-president (1918-44) of The King's School Old Boys' Union, and one of the first representatives (1924-33) of the old boys on the reconstituted school council. He belonged to the New South Wales, Neutral Bay, Australian Jockey, Manly Golf and Australian clubs. Golf was his chief recreation.
Dick Manchee was endowed with splendid physical powers and mental alertness. Sympathetic and helpful to the deserving, he could be hard and outspoken where weakness of character and human folly were concerned, but, according to one contemporary, in 'all his dealings justice was his watchword and as a result his friends were legion'. Survived by his wife, daughter and two sons, he died on 10 November 1956 at his Potts Point home and was cremated.
G. P. Walsh, 'Manchee, Arthur Frederick (Dick) (1874–1956)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/manchee-arthur-frederick-dick-665/text19653, published in hardcopy 2000, accessed online 1 November 2014.
This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (MUP), 2000