Frederick T H Smith

To: "'John Barkla'" <>, <>
Subject: Frederick T H Smith
From: "Paul Dodd" <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 21:37:40 +1000
I have lost count of the number of times that on a Saturday when driving
along the tracks at the Western Treatment Plant we would encounter John
Barkla's vehicle, almost inevitably with Alison in the front and Fred in the
back. In 2011 Ruth and I participated in the (previously BOCA) Challenge
Bird Count with John Barkla's team that included Fred - this was
particularly significant to us because Fred had been part of this event
since the first time it had been run in 1948. Subsequently at a dinner
hosted by John and Alison, Ruth and I got to know Fred a little more, and
learnt of his exploits in earlier years - in particular his identification
of Sarus Crane in Australia (previously they had simply been dismissed as
Brolgas), and of finding and identifying innumerable rare waders -
especially at the Western Treatment Plant. Fred was already frail by the
time we met him, but, until this year, he was certainly still an active
birder - who else has Plains-wanderer on their Western Treatment Plant list
in daylight - especially as an 87 year old?!

Vale Fred Smith.

Paul Dodd & Ruth Woodrow
Docklands, Victoria

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of John Barkla
Sent: Wednesday, 19 June 2013 7:53 AM
Subject: Frederick T H Smith

I wish to advise the birding community that in the early hours of this
morning Fred Smith died peacefully in his sleep.  Having reached ninety in
March, Fred suffered a major stroke yesterday and did not re-awake.  As many
would be aware, he was amongst the best field observers of his generation
and it was my very great pleasure to bird with him on a regular basis for
more than forty years.  I will miss his gentle sense of humour and will
retain some wonderful memories of our times together with the birds.


John Barkla  


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