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Vale William Maurice ‘Maurie’ Menhennet

Wednesday 13, Nov 2019

The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association wishes to pass on its sincere condolences to the Menhennet family following the sad passing of father Maurie last Saturday aged 79. Founder of Mentay Steel Fab Construction, which manufactures Mentay cricket pitch rollers, Menhennet will be farewelled by family and friends next Monday (18 November) at the Mercure Conference Centre, 613 Main Road, Ballarat, Vic. The service starts at 1.30pm.

Ironically, Menhennet never played the game of cricket but can lay claim to manufacturing one of the most popular and integral items of plant required in the preparation of modern day wickets. According to the Mentay website, it all came about from a challenge that Menhennet issued to then Ballarat Cricket Association president Rex Hollioake, who in 1973 had purchased a new cricket pitch roller from Melbourne. At the time, Mentay was in the business of repairing many types of rollers, some of which were poorly designed, and Menhennet told Hollioake that he could build a far superior machine for the job.

The Mentay Hydra-Glide walk-behind cricket pitch roller was the end result and in 1980 it would go on to win an Australian Design Council Award. Since then, Mentay’s signature green and yellow pedestrian and ride-on cricket pitch rollers have become commonplace at many cricket grounds across the country, among them the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Gabba and Bellerive. Mentay rollers have also found their way to New Zealand, the Hong Kong Cricket Club and as far away as the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. When he wasn’t overseeing the family business, Menhennet was also an avid fisherman and for many years had a column in the local Ballarat Courier newspaper.

The ASTMA sends its best wishes to wife Maureen and the extended family during this difficult time.