Manning was born in Gowerton, Wales,
on 11 February 1887. He was the son of Richard Manning (steelworker)
and Sarah Davies. Together with a friend, he emigrated to Christchurch in 1910. He married Scottish-born Sarah Edith Willmore at the Trinity Congregational Church, Christchurch Central City, on 11 October 1923.
Manning stood unsuccessfully for Christchurch City Council in 1917 and 1919 as a Labour Party candidate. In 1920, he got offered a position as organising secretary of the Canterbury WEA
on the condition that he abstained from political office. This
restriction was lifted in 1925. He served WEA from February 1921 to
1948. He was elected onto Christchurch City Council in 1927 and served one
term until 1929. He was again successful in a 1936 by-election and
served a continuous 32 years, first as councillor (until 1958) and then
Manning served as Deputy Mayor from 1950 to 1958, and was elected as Mayor (39th Mayor) in 1958. In the 1968 election, he did not stand as a candidate again.
Manning stood for the Labour Party in the 1943 election in the Christchurch North electorate, but lost against Sidney Holland. He then contested the St Albans electorate in the 1949 election, but was unsuccessful against Jack Watts.
Manning was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St
George (CMG) in 1960 for services to local government and education, and
was knighted in 1967. For his contributions to adult education, the University of Canterbury awarded him an honorary doctorate (LLD) in 1972. Manning Intermediate School was named for Manning in 1969. He died in Christchurch on 29 December 1976, survived by his wife and their son. Lady Sarah Edith Manning (nee Willmore) died in 1998.
The school Board of Trustees in 2008 established a trophy for citizenship named after Penyth Manning (Son) who made a bequest to the school.
TE Ara Biography