Born in Nyah West in 1946 into a farming family, Ian Vernon knew the value of a dollar from a young age. He did his schooling at Vinifera and spent two years at the Technical College in Swan Hill.
Brought up on a fruit block in Vinifera, he left school at 14 to work for his father at the steel yard. After his father’s death in 1980, Ian took over the business and the company has been busy ever since.
Currently living in the beautiful surrounds of Lake Boga, Ian loves to spend his spare time in the great outdoors. “I love sailing; last year I spent time on the tall ship Lord Nelson sailing from Sydney to Auckland. “I’ve also walked the Kokoda Track and the Sandakan Death March (Trek) in Borneo,” he said.
Ian spent 16 years as an SES Victoria volunteer and 10 years with the Lake Boga Yacht Club.
STEEL IN HIS VEINS
Vernon’s Steel Yards has been providing quality steel products and friendly customer service to the region for over 60 years. Situated among the bustling industrial estate on Thurla Street in Swan hill, the business is comprised of three warehouses and an office building. As a popular retail wholesaler of all type of steel, Vernon’s Steel Yard sells sheds and shed materials, air conditioners, fencing, wood heaters and different types of steel to suit anyone’s needs. The business employs 13 people and has three delivery trucks that transport stock around the region- from Mildura to Moulamein to Cohuna.
Vernon’s steel yard owner Ian Vernon said his father, Allan, started the business in 1956 to supplement a farming income in Vinifera. “My father sold the family farm and moved the business to Swan Hill. He started small and grew and grew the business into what it is today”he said.
Each year, Vernon’s proudly supports and donates money to many local charities and clubs. In 2015 Vernon’s donated around $40,000 to football, cricket, fishing, gun and bowling clubs, as well as schools, aged care facilities and hospitals. Mr Vernon says its important to support the community who supports his business. “You have to give back,”He said.
He said the best part about the job is that everyday was different. “Everyday is a new challenge. The customers are always the best part of the job.”He said. He cites his family as the most important part if his life. “The highlight of my career has been raising four children with my wife Clare and spending time with my five beautiful grandchildren,”He said.
Ian has no plans to retire in the near future. “The business is still constantly growing and i’m only 70. “I have my wife Clare and a great staff supporting me,” He said.