April 2019

Obituary: Bartholomew (Bart) Ryan

  • By Rob Porter and Nick Ryan
Bartholomew Ryan


Bartholomew (Bart) Carrack Ryan AM was born in Adelaide on 24 August 1926. Bart was educated at St Patrick’s College, Goulburn and Broken Hill School of Mines, where he graduated in mining engineering in 1949. 

He joined Consolidated Zinc Corporation at Broken Hill as a mining engineering cadet, before becoming a mine superintendent at Rum Jungle, Northern Territory, between 1957-59. Bart was then appointed mining engineer with Zinc Corporation in 1958. 

From 1959 to 1961, Bart was mine superintendent at Mary Kathleen Uranium, and then manager of operations, Rio Tinto Collieries, Camden, New South Wales between 1962-1965. He joined CGFA in 1965 and in October of that year joined Renison as general manager. 

In 1967, Bart was appointed resident manager at Goldsworthy Mining Ltd – the operating company for Mount Goldsworthy Mining Associates – at Port Hedland, Goldsworthy and then Perth. He was appointed general manager in 1969. 

From December 1972 to May 1976 he was technical director, Consolidated Gold Fields (CGF), London. On 14 October 1975 he was appointed deputy chairman of CGF and deputy managing director on 1 January 1976. Bart was in contention for the role of chief executive and managing director, which was ultimately provided to Rudolph (later Sir) Agnew. 

On 1 May 1976, Bart was appointed managing director of CGF Australia, succeeding Sir Bryan Massy-Greene. On 31 December 1980, he stepped down as managing director. He remained a director of RGC until 1982 and had a consultancy arrangement with CGF. Other directorships he held included Pioneer Concrete, Placer Development and Placer Pacific. 

Outside of work Bart developed a keen interest in ocean racing – he did 12 Sydney to Hobart races (11 on his own boats), numerous other offshore events, and later cruised to New Guinea, Noumea and around Tasmania, where he retired in 2000.

Bart’s wife Shirley was a Royal Flying Doctor Service radio operator when they met in Broken Hill. They had four children, Nicholas, Martha, Amanda and Josephine. 

He was a member of various clubs including the RSYS and CYCA, and well as the Australian Club, Sydney. He was awarded an OAM in 1980 for services to the mining industry. Bart was a member of AusIMM for 75 years, first joining in 1944.

Bart passed away in Hobart on 18 December 2018.

Share This Article