Hi birding-aussers, it is with deep regret that I have to
inform you of the passing away early this morning of Tony Ashby (peacefully,
while asleep). Tony was diagnosed with lung cancer (he never smoked) late last
year and recieved considerable amounts of treatment but to no avail, it just
kept spreading. It's been heart-breaking watching him, over the last few months,
gradually succumb to that mongrel disease. One happy note was our flying him out
to Lord Howe in January and flying over Ball's Pyramid and Elizabeth &
Middleton Reefs, he was by that time wheelchair bound but we all had a
I think the highlight for him was getting swooped on by those
whistling comets, the Black winged Petrels. For those who have been to Lord Howe
you would know it would have been no mean feat getting him to the cliff-face in
a wheel-chair but it was worth it. You see, Tony was one of that rare breed, an
avid sea-birder, he'd never miss a trip. There are a few of you down south who
know exactly what I mean, Lindsay Smith informed me Tony was instrumental in
getting SOSSA into operational mode. Sea World are going to miss his cheery
disposition, not to mention his alleviating them of their chumming
Ah well life goes on and we have a pelagic coming up this
saturday, let's hope it's a good one. You'll have to excuse me now, I'm going to
have a few wines in toast of the times we had together out on the Blue Paddock.
Cheers - Paul Walbridge.
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