The Australian harness racing industry was saddened upon learning of the passing on Tuesday night (Oct. 15) of one of the industry's most respected and iconic figures, Dr. Ern Manea, after a short illness.
Dr Manea, 86, was a legendary figure in his home town of Bunbury, Western Australia where he had practiced for many years as a doctor and been actively involved in numerous community and sporting organizations.
"Ern Manea was widely respected throughout the harness racing world, as well as the broader community, for his dedication to so many tasks and intelligent, pragmatic approach to the roles he undertook," Harness Racing Australia chairman Geoff Want said. "He was a true legend and thoroughly deserving of the many awards and accolades heaped on him during a lifetime of service."
Among the many roles Dr Manea filled were two terms as mayor of Bunbury and in recognition of this and his other work he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1985. He was further honored in 1998 when he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to the community, local government, regional planning and development and the harness racing industry.
His passion for harness racing developed as a young medical student in Adelaide, attending meetings at the Wayville track. Dr Manea became a prominent owner, breeder and administrator, including terms as president of the Western Australia Trotting Association, the Inter Dominion Harness Racing Council and the International Trotting Association, of which he was a life member.
He was president of the Australian Harness Racing Council, now Harness Racing Australia, from 1984-2000, and has been recognized with many honors, including the JP Stratton Award, the Inter Dominion HRC Gold Medal and induction into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame, and the WA Racing Hall of Fame.
Click here to view Dr Manea's profile for the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame.
On behalf of the harness racing community our deepest sympathies go out to Beulah and the extended Manea family.