Rais­ing funds for wet­lands

A din­ner and char­ity auc­tion held in Bendigo has raised more than $15 000 for the Wet­lands En­vi­ron­men­tal Task­force.

Field and Game - - NEWS -

WET is a char­i­ta­ble trust es­tab­lished in 2002 as a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of the con­ser­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties un­der­taken by mem­bers of Field & Game Aus­tralia since 1958.

The WET trust has played an im­por­tant role in de­vel­op­ing the Heart Mo­rass wet­land near Sale and the Con­newarre Wet­lands Cen­tre near Gee­long, and also owns an allotment of 140 ha (350 acres) on the west side of Lake Bu­loke.

The din­ner was held at the The Board­walk in Bendigo just prior to the 2018 Duck Sea­son.

As well as gen­er­at­ing much needed funds for wet­land con­ser­va­tion, the evening pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for the WET Trust to for­mally ac­knowl­edge the on­go­ing ef­forts of Gary ‘Pud’ Howard.

Pud was the sub­ject of a ‘This is your life’ pre­sen­ta­tion pre­pared by Lau­rie Rowe with the se­cret com­pli­ance of his many friends and col­leagues in Field & Game.

While photographs rolled through on the screen show­ing not only Pud’s his­tor­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties but a time­line of his hair­style and fash­ion (much mirth en­sued), the words hon­oured his lead­er­ship, ded­i­ca­tion and enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion to the Wet­land En­vi­ron­men­tal Task­force, Heart Mo­rass and Field & Game Aus­tralia.

In late 1966 he was trans­ferred to Yar­ram for work and was soon con­scripted by Dr Hugh Martin to join the Vic­to­rian Field & Game As­so­ci­a­tion. When the Yar­ram branch wound up, its as­sets and most re­main­ing mem­bers trans­ferred to Sale.

John Hirt summed up Pud in the early days.

“My ini­tial im­pres­sions of his com­mit­ment and abil­ity have been thor­oughly con­firmed over the years. His pas­sion con­tin­ues un­abated, and has trans­lated into a re­lent­less and life­long in­volve­ment and ded­i­ca­tion to the aims and as­pi­ra­tions of Field & Game Aus­tralia and the wet­lands.”

A ded­i­cated environmentalist, long be­fore it was fash­ion­able, he em­braced crit­i­cal wet­land/wa­ter­fowl habi­tat projects, in­clud­ing the estab­lish­ment of many State Game Re­serves within Gipp­s­land, con­trol struc­tures at Dowds Mo­rass, ac­cess im­prove­ments at Heart Mo­rass and Lake Cole­man, tree plant­ing at Jack Smith Lake, Heart Mo­rass, Cly­de­bank Mo­rass and Lake Cole­man, pest erad­i­ca­tion and nest­ing sup­port.

The list of his work to re­ha­bil­i­tate the Heart Mo­rass is too lengthy to de­tail and some­how, he still finds time to be a pas­sion­ate duck hunter.

A life mem­ber of Field & Game Aus­tralia and Sale FGA Branch, this was an op­por­tu­nity for the WET Trust to ex­press its ap­pre­ci­a­tion. WET also ap­pre­ci­ates the gen­eros­ity of sup­port­ers who do­nated auc­tion items.

Alf Crow, Bron­wyn Warner, Peter Warner and Glenda By­ers

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