Awards Bestowed on Two Significant DRB Elders

Congratulations to Kevn Griffiths and Lesley Brooker, who on Friday 9 November received awards for their extensive and invaluable service to natural history.

Member for Kalamunda Matthew Hughes MLA and Kevn Griffiths. Photo: Rob Sandri

Kevn Griffiths, co-founder of the Darling Range Branch (DRB Nats), is a fungus leader and author of A Field Guide to the Larger Fungi of the Darling Scarp & South West of Western Australia. He regularly shares his extensive knowledge of fungi and continues to lead fungi excursions, including this year to the Glen Forrest Superblock. He is about to turn 90 and has been on the DRB committee since its inception in 1974; this is worthy of an award in itself!

A tree planting ceremony was conducted in Kevn’s honour in Jorgensen Park. This was attended by Kevn and his wife Peg Griffiths; the City of Kalamunda Mayor, John Giardina; the local member for Kalamunda, Matthew Hughes MLA; Mick Davis, City of Kalamunda Environmental Friends Group Officer; the President of the WA Naturalists’ Club, Jolanda Keeble; the Chairperson of the DRB Nats, Rachel Green; and many long time and past members of the branch. It was a delight to welcome back Margaret Waller, Alma De Rebeira, June and Gane Doyle, and Mary Avery. Gane has known Kevn for 64 years.

DRB Nats members and guests at the tree planting. Photo: Rob Sandri

The tree planting occurred as a partnership between the DRB Nats and the City of Kalamunda. Special thanks go to Mick Davis for all his help in digging the hole, preparing the site and collecting the tree (all we did was find the tree and pay for it!). Kevn and Mick planted the tree together, ably supported by John and Matthew. I couldn’t help but notice how agile Kevn was in squatting down while most of the rest of us didn’t have knees to match.

The tree, a Darling Range Ghost Gum (Eucalyptus laeliae), is planted at the Rock Riffle below the carpark (near the small bridge). Matthew Hughes has kindly offered to contribute towards the cost of a plaque: thank you so much.

Matthew Hughes MLA, Jolanda Keeble President of  WA Nats Club, Lesley and Mike Brooker and the Mayor of Kalamunda John Giardina.
Photo: Rob Sandri

Lesley Brooker has devoted many years to recording and studying our local natural history, and won one of the City of Kalamunda’s Local Hero Awards. Her award was presented by Mayor, John Giardina. It is in recognition of her tireless and expert work in developing a unique, comprehensive and invaluable resource: Darling Range NatureBase and making it available free of charge to the whole community. It provides clear and extensive photographic coverage of the local flora and fauna and can be taken on excursions on tablets and smartphones. The award was intended to be a surprise for Lesley but she guessed something was happening when she was accidentally sent her prize money beforehand!

Thank you so much Kevn and Lesley for all that you do to foster a love, understanding and protection of our natural environment. We extend our deep gratitude to you.

Rachel Green

Link to Darling Range NatureBase