We were all deeply saddened by the sudden passing of JanBert Brouwer on the 12 February.
JanBert and Mabel joined FOGGs in 1993 and for many of those years have been active committee members.
JanBert was born in Java in 1942. After the war, his family moved back to Holland where he spent his younger years. Shortly after getting his Degree in Agricultural Science, he and Mabel moved to Australia in 1970. JanBert was employed by the Department of Agriculture in Werribee as a plant breeder.
In 1983, he moved to the Wimmera where he worked at the Wheat Research Institute. His initial work was with oats but in 1985 he became the pulse breeder, of which he became a world authority. JanBert has been credited as being the father of Australia’s $300 million lentil industry.
Soon after arriving in Australia, the Brouwers fell in love with the Australian flora and fauna. Their homes both in Little River and the Wimmera have been set on several acres and planted with vast quantities of native plants. As well as his love of the plants, he enjoyed the birds these plants attracted and he was a keen bird observer. JanBert has spent decades as an advocate for Australian plants, being actively involved in both local native plant groups and the Victorian Australian Native Plants Association.
In addition to FOGGs where he was a valued committee member as well as supporting Mabel in her role as our treasurer, JanBert was involved in many community groups, including the Bird Observers and Friends of the Wail Arboretum. He and Mabel regularly volunteered at the Horsham Visitor Information Centre where they were able to promote the Grampians. He was also responsible for the attractive garden outside the visitor centre.
JanBert’s dry sense of humour and input will be sadly missed.