Ivan Jacobs, a legend of the wool industry in the Western District died on September 9.
After matriculating at Geelong College in 1954, Mr Jacobs took up his first love, agriculture, first jackeroo-ing with Claude Notman at Mt Widderin Station, Skipton.
Several years later he joined the wool department of Dalgety and Co. Geelong under that exacting task-master Keith Baird.
On completing his training, Mr Jacobs was appointed to the Dalgety Ararat office as wool adviser to clients in a large area of western Victoria.
A post he held with distinction for over 30 years.
He quickly impressed graziers with his knowledge, expertise and commitment to their success.
There are many tales of Mr Jacobs taking small groups to field days and ram sales far afield including South Australia, which they greatly enjoyed.
Mr Jacobs always put his clients first, and the high esteem in which he was held is evidenced by the over-subscription to a farewell function held on his retirement at Chalambar Golf Club Ararat to mark his retirement in the year 2000.
Mr Jacobs then continued to serve the community as a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority.
He played a major role with the Lawn Bowls Association as a player and official - representing the region in the annual bowls tournament on several occasions.
At home, Mr Jacobs again demonstrated his expertise, growing vegetables that were highly sought after by his friends.
Throughout the last 51 years, Ivan was ably supported by his wife, Lyn who remains active in community affairs in Ararat.
John Fewtrell, who had been at school with Mr Jacobs, kindly supplied these reminiscences.
"I commenced work as a junior at Dalgety, Geelong in January 1958," he said.
"A few months later Ivan presented as a junior valuer but first found that his duties were licking stamps and running messages.
"It was then that our friendship began."
Mr Jacobs soon joined the wool broking arm with a particular interest in flock classing and stud stock.
"Largely under the guidance of Ted Webb, Ivan persued his sheep classing interests which involved ram selection so opening the door to stud stock operations," Mr Fewtrell said.
"Wool broking and stud stock were his lot before taking up his position at Ararat where he spent the remainder of his working career and retirement.
"I joined him in 1973 as Branch Manager and we worked closely together for the next thirty years
"During his years in Ararat he began collecting samples of district wools, many of which had been sale toppers or perhaps perfect specimen of individual types.
"Each sample staple was carefully arranged then mounted on a deep blue background card and held in position with two narrow bands of blue ribbon.
"Very professional. These specimens were mounted in a glass-fronted display case.
"Over the years two other cases were added until three of the walls of Ivan's office were covered with probably the best display of quality wools ever assembled (see picture).
"We experienced the good times and the bad of the wool industry.
"Boom years of good seasons and prices followed by just the reverse and over the years we experienced many different sets of conditions.
"Ivan and I had a very happy working relationship and shared the ability to see the lighter side of most situations.
"I would like to leave my great friend with some words he would be sure to recognize - "Keep smiling bossy. God bless".
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