Saturday, 5 September 2009

RHSV Lecture - Les Chandler of Cardross

Speaker: Mary Chandler
Where: RHSV 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Date: Tuesday 8 September 2009
Time: 5.15 tea/coffe 5.45 Lecture
Cost: Members free Non-members $5.50

Les Chandler was born in 1888 and spent his early life at at The Basin. Later he trained as a jeweller in Melbourne and joined the Bird Observers' Club around 1907/8, the Royal Ornothologists' Union in 1910, the Victorian Field Naturalists' Club shortly after this and co-founded the Sunraysia Field Naturalists' Club in 1949 and was an original member and part founder of the Mildura Historical Society.

He was one of Australia's first bird photographers and made the rings as well as carrying out the first bird banding in this country.

After the First World War, Les spent several weeks exploring the Kulkyne area and became a friend of the last surviving member of the Kulkyne tribe, Mary Woorlong. In 1921 he returned to Red Cliffs and joined the Nursery Camp before taking up Block 406. He worked there until his retirement to Red Cliffs township 35 years later. He was a prolific writer and photographer of nature and had his work exhibited throughout the world. He won many prizes including the Kodak medallion for achievement in photography.

As early as the 1930s he was trying to have the Hattah Lakes declared a national park and he worked tirelessly with others to that end until part of the area was declared a park in 1960. Just prior to his death in 1979, he was to see another long-life ambition realised - the rest of the lakes system and the Kulkyne Forest proclaimed the Huttah Kulkyne National Park.

The talk will conclude with a DVD about the early Chandlers, World War I and early Red Cliffs to today.