It was Scotch Broom that brought Alan Ryder into the Mayne Island Conservancy family, and what a gift he was! Whilst enthusiastically bashing broom on Felix Jack Road with members of the Broom Action Team, Alan was encouraged to join the Mayne Island Conservancy Board where he revealed another of his invaluable skills: accounting. At this time, the Conservancy was in dire need of help in this area, so Alan became our Treasurer, a post he served for 12 years.

Photo: Tom Hobley

Alan was humble about his work with the Conservancy, and yet he brought extraordinary enthusiasm and skills to the organisation, helping both on the financial side and with the development of the original website; he seemed to have a genuine love for the Conservancy, its work and its members. In his quiet, no-fuss way, Alan volunteered for many tasks, bringing to everything his sweet, whimsical nature and gentlemanly manners. At the big event held to celebrate St John Point becoming a new park, Alan felt he was a tad behind on issuing tax receipts for the project, and so, while the party raged around him, he settled himself at a table with his laptop and glass of wine and simply got to work on them.

Many people remember hearing Alan’s lovely tenor voice during choir practice, and you can also find him beautifully narrating some of the Conservancy’s educational videos on eelgrass and on Henderson Park restoration. Alan was often seen escorting his beloved dogs along Felix Jack Road, and watching them together, a small man and two enormous hounds, one might well have asked who was actually walking whom?

We at the Mayne Island Conservancy remember with great fondness this honourable man who dedicated so much of his time, energy, and skills to our organisation and the well-being of our precious island home.


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