In this issue, we have to bring you the sad news that Jim Conroy passed away in April after the very rapid onset of cancer. Jim was NEMT's General Secretary from 1985 to 1989 after which he continued to be a firm supporter of our work.
Jim was trained as an ecologist and served three periods in the Antarctic as part of the British Antarctic Survey including staying one full winter there. He maintained his interest in the Antarctic, and the British effort there, throughout his life and indeed was an avid collector on books on the subject.
During his time with NEMT Jim took an active role on issues like the campaign around a bulldozed track in Glen Ey and measures to ameliorate its impacts.
He was active in the Cairngorms Working Party and the founding of the Save the Cairngorms Campaign and, later and briefly, served as secretary to the Cairngorms Campaign. He also was a key organiser of a major conference on the Cairngorms in 1990, called 'Caring for the High Cairngorms' and edited the published proceedings, for which work he had a particular talent.
In his personal life, he had broader interests such as in folk music and fine whiskeys. He worked most of his professional life in the North East at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology at Brathens but in recent years left on the centre's closure and earned a living successfully as an environmental consultant. One of his interests both at Brathens and as a consultant was in the cleaning of oiled birds and mammals after major oil tanker incidents such as the Braer and The Sea Empress.
Professionally, his major expertise was on otters and in this area he was certainly a leading, if not the leading UK expert. In this, his chosen field, he had an international reputation and will be sorely missed.
For those of us who got to know Jim in and around his work, we will always remember a really fine man with laughing eyes, as well depicted here in this photograph provided by Ann, his wife. Jim was someone you listed in your phone book under "J" for Jim, or of course, Jim and Ann if you were lucky enough to know them both. You always knew when you contacted Jim you would find someone keen and interested to know how you were and what was happening. Yes, Jim, you will be sorely missed here at home as well.
Drennan Watson and Jennifer Cook.
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