Ipswich loses giant of the quarry business
IPSWICH is mourning the loss of a hard working business founder who remained loyal to his home town until his dying days.
Viv Zanow passed away with family by his side on Tuesday morning, aged 92 years.
He had suffered for several months following a bad stroke last October.
It ended what son Darren Zanow said was 'a great innings' for the founder of Zanow's Concrete and Quarries.
"He worked hard all his life," Darren said of his father.
"My earliest memories are of dad being a very hard worker.
"We lived on the farm at North Booval, where I still live today, and he grew two crops every year; wheat in winter and sorghum in summer.
"He was also a council worker and contractor and he always operated equipment."
Born in Caboolture, Viv moved to Ipswich as a boy and remained in the area ever since.
Viv's first business was called Ipswich Earthmovers, which started in the early 50s and sold to Sir Leslie Thiess, the father of Queensland's coal industry.
"Dad was the first contractor to work for Rylance at the first open cut mine in Queensland," Darren said.
"He created a bit of uproar with the unions at the time and Sir Leslie came to respect him for the way he handled himself.
Although Zanow's Concrete and Quarries was registered in 1956 by brothers Viv, Aubrey and Desmond, it wasn't until the mid-80s that things began to really kick things off under the family name.
It started with a small sand and topsoil extraction operation at Peak Crossing.
Brad became a diesel fitter and joined the business in 1990 and Darren joined in 1991.
"From there, Zanow's started to operate and build up to where it is today, with three quarries and two concrete plants, 80 employees and 60 permanent subcontractors."
Viv also maintained his farming activities over the years, while also pursuing his love for horses.
He owned the top sire as judged at the Sydney and Brisbane shows of the 70s and 80s, Zanabar Halo Hank.
Just as importantly, Viv loved to give his time to help the community, carrying out free work at Ipswich East State School and various churches.
Viv retired 10 years ago but remained active in the business and the community, staying on as a member of the Ipswich Show Society committee until his death.
"He had a good innings," Darren said.
"In his last 10 years he pretty much did what he wanted, which he deserved because he worked so hard.
"We have a good core business that he started and we will carry his legacy into the future."
Viv leaves behind his sons Darren and Brad, granddaughters Lola and Zoe, Desmond, Aubrey, former wife Kay and their families.
His funeral will be held at Centenary Gardens on February 21 at 3pm, to be followed by a wake at the Ipswich Showgrounds.