Wednesday, September 12

Pioneering conservationist Vincent Serventy passes on

One of Australia's foremost conservations, Vincent Serventy, has died following a severe stroke. He was 91 when he passed away on Saturday, September 8. A memorial service will be held on September 23, in the hall at Pearl Beach, on the Central Coast. Here's his obituary in today's Sydney Morning Herald. Below is the item I posted on July 24.

I've just confirmed that Vincent Serventy has been admitted to the Woy Woy Nursing Home after a bad stroke. He is 91.

He had lived for years in the leafy enclave of Pearl Beach, which is almost surrounded by sea and national park, a wonderful haven for a man who gave a lifetime's service to the causes of natural science and conservation.

It probably is no exaggeration to say Dr Serventy once had the sort of recognition we now give to Tim Flannery. But when I chatted to him last year at the big annual Pearl Beach book sale, he lamented that no-one would publish his letters any more.

The other day in the bowling club, swapping information with another member, I found we'd both attended Perth Boys High School in the early 1950s. My new friend remembered Vincent Serventy as a science teacher at the high school, while I remembered his enthusiasm as he explained natural science at the old WA Museum across the road.

My bowling club friend came back with news that Dr Serventy had just gone into the nursing home, and I've confirmed it with his wife Carol. She does not believe he should have visitors at present.

The most recent of Dr Serventy's many publications is his memoir, An Australian Life (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1999). At present, ABE shows secondhand booksellers offering it from $13.60 upwards, plus postage.

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