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Jill Manton’s Book – An Ordinary Bloke


About Jill

Jill Manton is well known for her ministry of spiritual formation in theological education and for her ecumenical leadership in the development of formation programs for spiritual directors. She was the founding director of the WellSpring Ecumenical Spirituality Centre in Ashburton, Victoria, Australia and has extensive pastoral experience through her parish ministry within the Baptist tradition.

In retirement, Jill remains in active ministry as a retreat leader, spiritual director, supervisor of spiritual directors and teacher. She is deeply committed to human and environmental rights through a variety of associations and to interfaith understanding through dialogue and friendship. Jill is the mother of three adult children and has four grandchildren. She enjoys living on the Mornington Peninsula (Victoria) near the sea.


Jill's book:  An Ordinary Bloke: The Making of a Modern Mystic.

Morning Star Publishing: Australia, 2016


From unlikely beginnings, Eugene Lincoln Napoleon Veith established a business that became the largest capital city metropolitan parcel organisation in Australia. Yet despite his grand name and success, Eugene Veith always described himself as an ordinary bloke.

He grew up in rural Victoria amidst illness and poverty, and his adolescence was turbulent and painful. It was also the time when his childhood faith burst open in an event that was the beginning of his love affair with God which matured throughout his long life.

In time, he realised his dream of using the profits from his business to support Christian missions and challenge unjust social structures. The legacy of this continues to grow today through the Entrust Foundation, which he established in 2008, not long before he died. This is the outer expression of his inner life with God.

In the general rush of everyday living, people seldom talk of their experience of God at a deep and intimate level, but in the right context and at the right time, some do. When this happens, it is a rare privilege to listen in and to recognise that we are on holy ground. An Ordinary Bloke: The Making of a Modern Mystic provides us with that opportunity.


An easily accessible, evocative account, this book enlarges the sensibility of the reader; a rare gift.

This is an extraordinary Australian story of an "ordinary bloke" gathered together by Jill Manton who, at his invitation, listened this remarkable man's soul into expression. Skilfully crafted, carefully framed, theologically nuanced, it is told with affection and respect. The result is a testament to the gift that is created when one listens with depth and compassion to another's story.

The book is richly layered. It quickly engages the general reader. For those in the helping professions, it invites you to witness the power of deeply compassionate listening to one human being by a trusted other. For those interested in preserving the wealth of stories the elders of our clans hold which call for telling, it is an invitation to act; to gather the harvest. For readers interested in the life of the Spirit, it is a story of one human being's spiritual formation and deep transformation as he sought to reflect the heart of his God in the "nitty gritty" of daily life. His success left an enduring legacy of abundant giving which enriched the lives of countless individuals and keeps on giving. An easily accessible, evocative account, this book enlarges the sensibility of the reader; a rare gift.

Diana Kelly Byrne, Ph.D. Consultant psychologist, writer and educator, Melbourne

an inspirational story

I met Eugene Veith, or 'Curly' as I came to know him, when I was confronted by a man in a hat who stuttered. He wanted to secure the contract for the Chef factory transport. We agreed to a trial then and it soon turned into a full scale trucking business for Chef which lasted for over thirty years. I quickly learned that Eugene was not only a supplier of a first class reliable service, but a very humble God-fearing man whose extraordinary generosity and care for those who were disadvantaged and for the Kingdom of God, was remarkable. His philanthropic involvements were extensive -world-wide in fact – and over the years we together investigated various proposals for investment and/or assistance. Eugene was not only a humble very real Christian, who lived frugally himself, but he used his substance for others. His is an inspirational story and his influence through the charitable entity he set up, 'Entrust," continues on today very successfully. Of Eugene it could rightly be said: "He being dead yet speaketh." Hebrews 11:4

Harold Seeley AM, Former CEO Chef Company

outer success is more than matched by his inner spiritual life

Many of our immediate thoughts when talking about leading businessmen vacillate around 'driven, 'hard-nosed', 'exploitative', 'self-centred' and similar terms. That a very different kind of businessman can exist is the subject of this beautifully written reflective biography by Melbournian Jill Manton, well known for her leadership in spiritual formation. In the pages of this book we are privileged to meet Eugene Veith, whose outer success is more than matched by his inner spiritual life. In fact, we are stunned by the discovery that a prominent businessman can be a modern Christian mystic, whose inner world produced so much goodness, compassion and justice in our world and continues to do so today some years after his death.

Charles Ringma, Professor Emeritus of Regent College, Canada, theologian, activist, author of Hear the Ancient Wisdom and many other books on Christian spirituality.

a glimpse into the heart

This book offers you the chance to get a glimpse into the heart of one of God's unusual servants. He was born just over 100 years ago – a humble, ordinary bloke whose love for God led him to establish a business that distributed all its profits to diverse forms of Christian mission in Australia and overseas. He had a special concern for children, abused women and the poor. Before his death the Entrust Foundation was established to ensure that this work would continue beyond his lifetime. Today it continues to grow, touching the lives of thousands of people in 15 nations. Jill Manton knew Eugene well and has beautifully captured his thinking, motivation, humanity and generosity. Her book will inspire and challenge you to do all you can with what you have – just as Eugene did!

Richard Beaumont, CEO Entrust Foundation