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His monument the enviroment

Noosa Mayor Bob Abbot with Noosa conservationist Dr Arthur Harrold.
Noosa Mayor Bob Abbot with Noosa conservationist Dr Arthur Harrold. Geoff Potter

DURING a time of rapid and rampant development Noosa took the road less travelled.

The man who mapped, navigated and fought for this new direction was Noosa conservationist Dr Arthur Harrold.

Last Friday, at Drysdale Chapel, Tewantin, more than a 150 family and friends turned out to bid farewell to the man who was described as a visionary and having infinite patience.

Born in 1918, Dr Arthur Harrold studied arts and medicine at Cambridge University and St Bartholomew's hospital.

His passion at Cambridge was botany. He served as a young doctor in the Second World War and then travelled to Australia with the Royal Navy in Australia where he met his wife, Marjorie.

At the service conservationists Michael Gloster and John Sinclair spoke of the man who settled in Noosa in 1960 with two young children and started up his medical practice in Noosaville. "His home at Little Cove became conservation headquarters," Dr Gloster said.

This was where the hundreds of battles that kept Noosa green were planned. Out of those many battles, Dr Gloster said there were two that could be called the "sweetest moments".

One came after the 22-year battle that finally ensured the security of Noosa National Park from development and the creation of Cooloola National Park.

"It's hard to get your head around his vision for that time," Dr Gloster said.

But against all odds, he relentlessly pursued and achieved his national park vision.

"He knew how to go to George St and get support," Dr Gloster said.

"He was trusted in the corridors of power because they knew he would keep his word."

John Sinclair, who fought sand mining on Fraser Island with Dr Harrold in the early 1970s recalled the beginning of their battle.

"We sat down at a meeting on a Saturday afternoon and devised a strategy," he said.

"I think that's when we came up with FIDO - Fraser Island Defenders Organisation."

He said that Dr Harrold's emotional feel for the landscape coupled with his scientific background made him a passionate environmental campaigner.

"He was not prepared to just be an academic," he said.

"He was a man of action."

But, in the end, Dr Harrold 's achievments did not need to be painted in words.

They could be seen all around us.

Topics:  dr arthur harrold, funeral


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