BTW Gang Gang

To: "'COG-L'" <>
Subject: BTW Gang Gang
From: "John Walter" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2012 21:22:24 +1000
  Hi Gwenyth and Mark and the older members of COG,

I knew Betty Temple Watts all my life since I was 14 years of age. I was a
lifelong friend of the late Stephen Temple Watts, Betty's younger son,
having met at boarding school in Geelong in the late 40's.

In 1959 my wife Ruth and I were married and on our honeymoon we called in to
the Temple Watts who lived, as Mark has said, in Clianthus St O'Connor
(number 30 as I recall). At the time Betty was working on the plates for
Birds of the High Country. She had a male Gang Gang that had been injured
and she used him as her model.

In 1972 we moved to Queensland in a partnership with Stephen and we were
closely associated with Betty and with her encouragement we became much more
involved with natural history with the Toowoomba Field Naturalist Club, and
the Queensland Ornithological Society. Stephen, Viola who was Stephens
second wife (and did the text for the Quintessential Bird) and myself were
all at one time or another President of the Nats. I think I still hold the
record as the longest serving President and at a recent gathering had the
dubious honour of being the oldest living former President!! Betty was also
Patron of the Nats until her death. I had the honour of delivering the
eulogy at her funeral in Toowoomba.

Betty encouraged all those around her to be aware of nature and conservation
and particularly the observation of birds. She gave me a sub to the RAOU in
1972 or 3 which I have maintained ever since. My wife and family became very
heavily involved with the first Atlas of Australian Birds in the late 70's.
as sub-regional organisers. Betty was also instrumental in encouraging our
younger daughter Kathy in her pursuit of an art career, she graduated in
Graphic Design and ended up in Canberra and a member of COG so the wheel
comes full circle.

Betty was a very observant bird watcher, but she was also very interested in
native plants and animals as well. She was lady of small stature but very
active and even in her 80's she would go camping with us. One Easter we were
camped near Stanthorpe, she was in a tent on a low stretcher. We had 14
inches of rain mostly over the night of Good Friday. In the morning she had
about 6 inches of water running through her tent. She calmly waited on her
stretcher until we could rescue her.

The picture I have attached is a copy of the Gang Gang she did for us from
memory about 1985 and it hangs proudly on our lounge room wall.

John C Walter
Pittsworth Queensland


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