Alan Roderick West

1901-1961

Alan Roderick West was born at Southern Cross, Western Australia (WA) on 22 April 1901.

In 1918, he completed first-year science at the University of Western Australia, but could not finance the necessary move to Adelaide or Melbourne to study medicine as he had intended. He obtained a labouring job at Bullfinch Propriety, WA, with the intention of staying for twelve months and accumulating funds for his ongoing studies.

He stayed at Bullfinch until 1921 and was eventually promoted to Assayer, before becoming General Assistant to the Manager for 12 months.

He then worked briefly at the Devon Mine at Linden as the Technical Assistant to the Manager. He became Technical Assistant to the Manager at the Royal Standard Mine at Twin, WA, before moving to a similar position at the Lalla Rookh Mine at Marble Bar in March 1923.

While at Marble Bar, a visiting mining engineer from Broken Hill encouraged him to give up studying medicine and instead take up formal mining studies.

Alan resigned from the Lalla Rookh Mine in April 1924 and accepted a position as a mill hand with North Broken Hill Limited.

Within six months he was appointed Assistant Surveyor and he commenced studying surveying at the Broken Hill Branch of the Sydney Technical College. In 1929 he completed a Diploma in Mining Engineering and in 1930 obtained a NSW Mine Manager’s Certificate.

He then served numerous roles at North Broken Hill Limited, before becoming Underground Manager in 1943.

In July 1946, Alan was appointed Deputy Manager and Mining Superintendent and, six months later, Manager at Broken Hill. In 1952 he was appointed General Manager and a Director, and took over as President of the Broken Hill Mining Managers’ Association.

Alan’s association with the AusIMM commenced on 27 November 1927 when he was elected a Student Member. He was then elected an Associate Member on the 30 January 1931 and a member on the 29th May 1939.

He was President of the AusIMM in 1956 and served on the Council of the AusIMM from 1953 until his death in 1961.During 1956, Alan chaired the running of the Broken Hill Annual Conference and officially received the Institute’s Royal Charter from the Duke of Edinburgh on the Royal Yacht Britannia at a function in Melbourne in November 1956.


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