Bob and Margie Wilson spent a brief period in the early days of their life together enjoying the stunning landscapes of the Stirling Ranges in the Fitz-Stirling region of Western Australia. Recently, I spoke with Bob who reached out to Bush Heritage in a really profound way – to give a gift to honour Margie, who sadly passed away last September. Enclosed with his donation was this beautiful letter which he has kindly allowed us to share:
Dear Bush Heritage,
I am pleased to be able to make the enclosed donation, which I wish to see used to advance the conservation work in the Fitz-Stirling region in Western Australia. I make this donation in honour and memory of my beloved wife, Margie, who passed away last September.
Margaret Anne Wilson (nee Harris) was born in January 1942 in Perth and spent the first 23 years of her life in that city. She was educated at Presbyterian Ladies College and the University of Western Australia, from which she graduated with a science degree majoring in Physics. Her work after graduation was in managing the safe handling of radioactive materials such as radium at the Royal Perth Hospital.
During the period 1960 to 1965 she travelled extensively in the region between Perth and the south coast of WA which, of course, includes the Fitz-Stirling area. She had developed a deep interest in local plants, and they were one focus of her travels. In fact, she had shown an interest in plants at a very early age when she observed and pressed wildflowers found on vacant blocks of land near her home.
After about four years work at the Royal Perth Hospital, Marg realised that she had already received a total radiation dose equivalent to a lifetime for an average person. Since she did not want her ability to have children to be affected, she resigned from her position at the hospital. After a few months searching she found new employment with BHP as a Scientific Information Officer at their Central Research Laboratory in Newcastle NSW. She moved (to Newcastle) in late 1965 and only two months later she met me. About nine weeks after that meeting, we were engaged to be married.
Even though Marg spent the rest of her adult life with me in Newcastle, she remained very attached to Western Australia. She was both a Western Australian and a New South Welshwoman. Her fascination for plants, especially wild plants and flowers, remained with her all her life. We spent many hours in the wild places in the Hunter Region, and whenever we went to Perth, we always managed to get out amongst the plants, even if sometimes it was only a visit to Kings Park.
In the early days of our relationship in 1966, she was delighted to show me some of the countryside around the Stirling Range. Over the years we have been very interested to read of the work being done in the Fitz-Stirling area. I am pleased to be able to help in progressing this work.
In sharing this story, Bush Heritage would like to pay respect to Margie, and recognise her and Bob’s long-term vision to preserve the Fitz-Stirling region for future generations.
In addition to Margie’s legacy, Bob has also chosen to leave a gift in his Will to Bush Heritage, ensuring that conservation work that supports the living world continues now and into the future.