Saturday, 20 August 2016

Vale Denis Wilson

My friend Denis Wilson passed away on 12 August 2016, as announced in a notice in the Canberra Times on 20 August.

I originally came to know Denis personally through comments back and forth on our blogs.  I was quite gratified to have someone with the size of readership that followed "The Nature of Robertson" (of which more later) reading my efforts.  However that was typical of Denis: if you were on the right side of issues and trying there would be few people more helpful than him.

We first met at the Tjanjara Falls car park where he had invited us to go on an orchid hunting expedition with his mate Alan Stephenson.  On re-reading the post I see I described it as a most frabjous day!  We had a number of other such days in which I learnt a lot about the nature of many places, including, of course, Robertson.

When we visited his Robbo house he told the story of going to research properties in the area.  Apparently the first place he looked at was regarded by his adviser as "No good: its only got 2 feet of topsoil.". The place he eventually acquired had 6 feet, rated as just adequate!  In telling this yarn Denis took mischievous glee in knowing that us folk at Carwoola measure our topsoil in microns.

More recently Denis moved, briefly, to Wyndham near the Far South Coast of NSW, before returning to Robertson.  During this period his illness became much worse and our correspondence became less frequent.  (In part this was because he switched from Blogging to using Facebook - apparently several times a day - which I haven't quite been able to permit myself to do.)

Apart from orchids (and peonies) one of Denis's great commitments was to trying to maintain water quality, particularly in the Southern Highlands.  His particular target was the Coal and Gas Exploitation industry and he was well known and respected for his efforts, including attendance at rallies near and far.

He'll be missed.

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