INDUSTRY figure and former ANL employee and manager Frank Needs died last week from natural causes.

Mr Needs was a generally well-loved and much-liked industry figure. Described by former colleagues as “a man once met always warmly remembered,” Mr Needs was a long-serving ANL employee who rose to the position of NSW state manager.

He was a shipping man through and through during an era when industry veterans viewed this new-fangled system of containerisation as a specialist, hands-on, sector. It was regarded as an area that required exceptional interpersonal skills and an astoundingly detailed practical knowledge of the business, both of which Mr Needs possessed.

Mr Needs was closely associated with Shipping Australia during his career. He served as the NSW state chairman, and he was an active player in the affairs of the various liner conference committees.

For many years after his retirement from ANL, Mr Needs played an active voluntary role in the production of the Shipping Australia’s magazine.

“He was a people-person who could hold court in any pub,” a former colleague said.

“Frank was politically switched on and controversial but he will most keenly remembered for his all-round sporting knowledge which led, in some quarters, to him being affectionally referred to the ‘Minister of Sport’. He was a true-blue Aussie.”

With the ever-diminishing number of such characters, Frank’s passing should genuinely be recognised as the sad loss of another industry colleague directly involved in the innovation of international liner container shipping in Australia.

A funeral was held for Mr Needs in Roseville, NSW Monday, 31 May.