Vale Harry Butler

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nilla60
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Vale Harry Butler

Unread post by nilla60 » December 13th, 2015, 8:57 am

"He had been ill for nearly two years but amazingly up until three months ago he was still messing around on the farm and driving a tractor and chopping wood"

Good effort! :)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-12/c ... 85/7023708

Les - PK Ranger
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Re: Vale Harry Butler

Unread post by Les - PK Ranger » December 13th, 2015, 11:48 am

..
Epic Aussie, and a sad loss.

He left the country (and this World) a better place, it's all any of us can hope (and attempt) to do.

RIP Harry, and no doubt you now be with your Maggie once again.

Shann Low
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Re: Vale Harry Butler

Unread post by Shann Low » December 15th, 2015, 2:01 am

Had the good fortune to work with Harry Butler filming a wildlife doco with him back round 1993 ish from memory!
His last doco in fact!
He was an inspiration to many Aussies, along with others of his ilk, (Malc Douglas, Leyland Bros et al).
Very generous man with his time knowledge experience and skills.
He seemed to delight in his latter years in passing on his knowledge to younger generations.
That said he was also a irascible rascal in some ways - "bucking the system"...as only he could!
You seldom got anything for nothing from Harry, by that I mean - when you asked him a question, you got your answer but he made you work for it. He would answer your questions, with his own questions, which in turn made you use your own brain to figure it out - or answer your own question!
What he was doing was teaching you to think, so that one day you'd know the answers from working it out rather than asking.
I had several meetings with Harry going back to my early childhood - when sis was doing a project on lizards & parents took her (and thus me) to the library looking for books on local lizards.
We just couldn't find any info.
Eventually mum panicked as the project deadline was approaching - and rang Harry at home in Bassendean he was in those days (Later moved to his farm just out of Busselton)! He said "bring her over tonight"... so of course we all went, me included... and Harry schooled her on local lizards. He gave her some booklets things he had in his library.. on skinks...

Sis got a A grade on her school paper for that project... and the booklets lived in our home library all my life growing up... then as said later in my working life I got to go meet with him at his farm outta Busselton and discuss the filming of a doco in the early ~90's, which he was good enough to do (come out of retirement for one last TV appearance).

Did manage to catch up with him again one night around 2009 at one of his museum presentations night at the Museum sponsored by Chevron.. about his work on Barrow Island.

Much as I admired the man all my life, from a child growing up visiting him at his house and watching his TV shows "in the wild", and also meeting him later thru my work as a wildlife officer etc and doing fauna surveys with him & filming a TV doco etc, I have to say I always struggled with his position working for Chevron.. in the oil and gas field as their conservation expert.

Many myself included felt as tho in some small ways "he sold out conservation" and got into bed with the oil & gas industry selling his name and reputation in order to help them grease the wheels with environmental agencies!

The fact is the guy had to eat and pay his bills just like the rest of us!.

I can't say as I blame him for taking a position with Chevron - we all have to eat at the end of the day! I can't honestly say with my hand on my heart, that in a similar position today I'd seriously consider doing the same thing!

What I can say is the world is a poorer place for his passing and that I doubt we will ever see another like him. And at the same time the world is a far richer & better place for the fact he lived in it and shared his passion with so many thru the TV screen as well as he did!

We only ever saw a small fraction of the wildlife / conservation work that he carried out!
His many awards the OBE etc - were all well earned.
I doubt any of us could achieve as much with our own lives as he did.
I will miss him, like so many others.

Life will go on no doubt!
Condolences to his family, friends & colleagues.

Les - PK Ranger
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Re: Vale Harry Butler

Unread post by Les - PK Ranger » December 15th, 2015, 7:44 am

Shann, maybe he helped keep Chevrons policies in check in his time there ?
Guess Harry might have thought he can do more working with the 'enemy' in keeping them in line, than from the outer fighting them on issues.
Thaks for posting your experiences of Harry, really shows what a great Aussie he was.

Shann Low
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Re: Vale Harry Butler

Unread post by Shann Low » December 15th, 2015, 12:44 pm

Anyone who's worked at Barrow, would know how stringent Harrys quarantine arrangements were with everything - no weed/grass seeds in your socks, etc!
There's no question that we were better off with the Chevron results as a result of Harry being there... no one at Chevron bullied Harry, he was his own man and stood his ground on conservation matters no matter what!
I actually met the WA head of Chevron with Harry at his Museum talk...
I just suspect some of his TV audience might feel as tho he sold out to big oil is all - it's a comment I heard expressed from some CALM colleagues.
Like I said we all gotta eat, including Harry.
Can't say I wouldn't do the same myself today, given the opportunity!.

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