We wish to pay tribute to David’s passionate commitment and contribution to FOGGs, of which he and Judith have been members for nearly 30 years, although this was only one of many conservation groups he was dynamically involved in during this period.
David saw FOGG as an active player in the Park’s management; he was instrumental in giving a local voice to the bureaucracy beyond our Park staff, both as a supporter and, at times, opponent of directions he considered inappropriate from his strong environmentalist position.
After the incorporation of FOGG, David became our first president, a position he held for eight years. He was our one and only ‘political’ President and a formidable adversary. Over this time he was involved in many projects to protect the Park from exclusive group use and privatisation. In addition, he gave his wholehearted support to positive developments such as the Red Gum Walk, revegetation projects and all research within the Park. He was also involved with the local Brambuk Community and strongly supported the preservation of their Gariwerd heritage.
Most immediate to us, however, was his personal warmth, his ever-ready smile and exuberant greetings. His enthusiasm was infectious to us all, particularly in his encouragement for the younger FOGGies; – which my own, now grown and flown, daughters still remember very fondly.
When going through my memories of the many days we spent together at FOGGs and at his dream (but still under-construction) straw house, the adjective that stands out overwhelmingly is ‘passionate’.
His indeed was a passionate life that we are all the better for being a part of.
‘ben’ Gunn, Leigh Douglas, Miriam Straub and Johanna Gunn.