Written by Norm Halliwell.
Today, I would like to advise all of the passing of David Henry Eccles MBEwho left this world on 7/12/21 at 8.40am aged 89 from a hospital bed in SouthAustralia.
I remember David very fondly having first met up with him and his wife inEngland in 1988, and he took my son and I to the most westerly coast of theU.K. near the North Sea; it was bitterly cold there. We came to know himthrough his involvement with Dr. Ethelwynne Trewavas (later to become DameEthelwynne Trewavas), and Lake Malawi Cichlids in general and through the bookthey co-authored call “ Malawi Cichlid Fishes. The classification of someHaplochromine genera. Lake Fish Movies, Herten, 334pp in 1989 ”.
David was a Rhodes Scholar from the University of Cape Town in Africa, andreceived an MBE for all his research in 1932.
I corresponded with him on many occasions on differing subjects, mainly to dowith African Cichlids, and we kept in contact with each other over many years,to a point that I needed to get someone with credentials to adjudicate on amatter of utmost importance to the Australian Aquarium Industry, when theSouth Australian Fisheries Department was attempting to totally ban some 360species of ornamental finfish from being kept, bred, and sold in that State.
It took the Aquarium Industry some 8.5 years to get to a point that these 360species needed to be analysed and adjudicated as to whether these fish wouldcause a problem if they accidentally or otherwise appeared in any waterway ofSouth Australia.
To cut a long story short, David was supplied by me with the year roundclimatic conditions of every waterway in South Australia, together with a listof the 360 species in question, in order to come up with the facts of anyincursion into the environment there and was employed by the Aquarium Industryto determine and adjudicate as to how these 360 species of fish would bereceived into the environment in S.A., if they suddenly appeared there, andafter several weeks work David came back with a pile of 500mm high paperworkof these 360 species and eventually this was supplied to the S.A. FisheriesDepartment, that FLOORED them in its detail, that enabled some 341 speciesfrom the list of 360, be allowed to be kept, bred, and sold in that State.
If it were not for David Eccles, I really do not know what would havehappened, as I felt this was going to be the “thin edge of the wedge” as Ifelt there were other Australian States looking at this case in S.A., (whichincidentally there were), and I for one did not want this to occur in NewSouth Wales.
I will be eternally grateful for all the detailed work that David Ecclessupplied to resolve this issue on behalf of the Aquarium Industry. The respectI have for him is enormous, it really is.
David was a loving father, and according to his son Will, a somewhatdistracted husband, and a doting grandfather to his two grandchildren. REST INPEACE.
Vale David Henry Eccles MBE 7/8/32 to 7/12/21 89 years old.
Tagged: David Henry Eccles MBE, Lake Malawi Chichlid
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