John’s lasting legacy at Boolcoomatta

Monday 21 September, 2015
Boolcoomatta’s slender-billed thornbill is benefiting from generous bequests. Photo Graeme Chapman.Boolcoomatta’s slender-billed thornbill is benefiting from generous bequests. Photo Graeme Chapman.

It was an emotional moment for Meredith Geyer and her family as they arrived at South Australia’s Boolcoomatta Reserve and entered  the renovated  shearers’ quarters.

Fixed to the wall beside the fireplace is a stained timber board acknowledging the generous donors and benefactors who have helped to fund Bush Heritage’s work at Boolcoomatta. Meredith’s father, John Weightman, who passed away two years ago, is the latest name to be included on the plaque.

“We know how much Dad would have loved to be there with us,” she said. “It felt as if we were in tune with him at Boolcoomatta.”

Despite being regular donors, it was the first time Meredith, her brother Andrew and their families had stepped onto a Bush Heritage Australia reserve. Until then they'd never seen first-hand the work that has been carried out on behalf of supporters such as their father.

Meredith’s family took a moment to raise a glass to John Weightman while visiting Dome Rock. Photo by Meredith GeyerMeredith’s family took a moment to raise a glass to John Weightman while visiting Dome Rock. Photo Meredith Geyer.

“He just loved that country. Who could say why?” Meredith smiles. “Maybe it was the peace. Maybe it was the beauty. But I think it just spoke to him. And he wanted to help keep it that way.”

John donated to Bush Heritage for more than 20 years, then left a bequest in his will. His contribution has been used to fund projects that are protecting Boolcoomatta’s vulnerable species, including the purplewood wattle and the slender‑billed thornbill.

“For people who want to protect our natural heritage, becoming a donor or leaving money to Bush Heritage is a way of guaranteeing that,” says Meredith, who is now considering her own options for making a bequest after her touching visit to Boolcoomatta.

“I can’t emphasise enough how proud we are of Dad for having made a contribution, not only during his life but also after he was gone. It’s such a special thing to do.”

If you’re interesting in making a bequest to Bush Heritage Australia, call our Bequests Team on (03) 8610 9139.

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