Dome Rock on Boolcoomatta Reserve. Photo by Wayne Lawler/EcoPix.
Supporters Alan and Saxon Condon had very special connections with the land, and since their passing – both at age 93 – their eldest daughter, Honour, has remembered them through nature and the places they loved.
Alan, a renowned geologist, passed away in 2008 and when his wife Saxon followed last year, one of her wishes was that a gift from their estate be left to Bush Heritage.
She was motivated to leave money because she felt we were rapidly destroying the planet’s habitats and wildlife, and believed it was essential that we tried to hold on to as much as we could.
Saxon had organised for a plaque to be erected in Alan’s name at one of our reserves, but Honour decided that her mother’s name should be on the plaque too, and after seeing a photo of Dome Rock at Boolcoomatta in the South Australian rangelands, felt that her parents would be happy for the plaque to be placed there.
Honour scattered her father’s ashes in what turned out to be a ‘geologist’s heaven’ – a limestone cave near Paddy’s River Mine where over one hundred minerals were once mined (some rare). Honour also wanted her mum to be returned to nature and describes the magical day she scattered Saxon’s ashes.
“As I emptied mum’s ashes into the Cotter River, a flock of squawking black cockatoos suddenly appeared and followed her ash-cloud – as if they were fare-welling her – as it was taken by a strong current down to where the Cotter meets Paddy’s River and turns to go on down to join the Murrumbidgee. Then they came back and disappeared just as suddenly as they’d come.
Saxon loved bush ballads and, like the title of a famous song, she was Bound for South Australia.
Remembering her parents through nature has given Honour a simple satisfaction: “It’s a feeling that they’ve gone home, you know. Back to the land they loved.”