A LOVED Leeton resident is being remembered as a gentleman who was an advocate for the natural environment.
Max O'Sullivan died on August 21, having lived in Leeton since 2007.
Mr O'Sullivan was a member of the Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists (MFN) since arriving in town.
He was a keen birdwatcher and his binoculars were always with him.
Mr O'Sullivan grew up and attended school in the Catholic tradition in Tamworth with three brothers and a sister. He went on to attend university and teacher's college in order to become a senior mathematics teacher in high schools.
He taught in schools for many years in Sydney and Cairns, as well as spending some time in Geneva.
When he retired from teaching, Mr O'Sullivan chose to move to Leeton for the RAMSAR-listed Fivebough wetlands.
In Leeton, he continued birdwatching and knew what birds could be found locally and where they could be found.
IN OTHER NEWS:
He knew when the Dollarbird was in town and when the Painted Honeyeaters had come to stay and when they left.
As a MFN member, Mr O'Sullivan served as president and other committee positions, including editing the local bird sightings list published in the club newsletter for many years.
He spent hours making bird lists for the Environmental Water Advisory Group, MFN and finding Australasian Bitterns to report in the breeding season. Mr O'Sullivan was also the MFN delegate for the Environmental Water Advisory Group. He reported mismanagement of roadsides and reserves in the hope restorative action would be taken.
Another job was regularly clearing the walkway at Campbell's Wetlands to ensure the hide was open for all to enjoy the wetland birds.
Many people have recollections of the time they spent with Mr O'Sullivan, learning about bird watching and helping them identify birds they had seen.
In May, Mr O'Sullivan celebrated his 80th birthday at Fivebough Wetlands with a group of birdwatchers who he mentored. He helped hundreds of travellers who came to Leeton and Griffith by telling them where to find different bush and water birds.
Mr O'Sullivan's interest in birds drew him to travel within Australia and overseas and he encouraged others to go with him. He did the necessary research and just knew where to go.
As a MFN member, Max O'Sullivan served as president and other committee positions, including editing the local bird sightings list published in the club newsletter for many years.
His year spent volunteering as a senior maths teacher at the school of St Jude in Tanzania gave him an opportunity to go bird watching there.
Those who knew him will remember him for all of the time he spent teaching people about birds and the work he completed with MFN and other organisations.
MFN invites residents to a memorial gathering for Mr O'Sullivan and a celebration of the return of the migratory birds to be held at the Fivebough Interpretive Centre on Sunday, October 30 at 4.30pm. The community is invited to join in a short walk around the wetlands.
Bring afternoon tea, something to drink, wear long sleeves as protection from mosquitoes, boots and a hat.
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