In memory of Alan Alexander | This Week's Letters to the Editor

Community treasure: Local library staff have shared their fond memories of Alan Alexander, pictured here with his guitar. Photo: Elements Margaret River
Community treasure: Local library staff have shared their fond memories of Alan Alexander, pictured here with his guitar. Photo: Elements Margaret River

Alan loved his library. It was one of his favourite places in Margaret River.

He worked as a volunteer at the library for 18 years, shelving books and assisting at the children's story time and baby rhyme time sessions.

He entertained the families, playing guitar and singing songs, delighting children of all ages.

He was a valued part of the team, coming in twice a week to provide the music, and performing at Augusta Library whenever he was asked.

He was more than happy to entertain participants at library functions such as Seniors Celebration events at Augusta and Margaret River, and at school holiday events.

Alan's music added an extra special element that families and staff really appreciated.

His music and songs brought the community together to sing along, clap and dance.

Alan was the recipient of the Shire's Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016 in honour of his devotion to library services.

When Alan was not shelving or entertaining families at the library, he could often be found making himself at home in the comfy chairs to read and write poetry.

He was a gifted poet, and we have four of his published books in the library.

Over the years he honoured us with special poems for the library and library staff.

Below is one of our favourite poems, chosen by library staff to share in memory of Alan.

Thank you Alan, for your music, passion and poetry, you will be sorely missed.

The staff at the Shire of Augusta Margaret River Libraries

The Library

I dreamed a house of

books, and where the sun

could wonder; and a

seemly sense of space

be resident within the

working place,

and reading spots be

there for everyone;

somewhere the seasons

would be known to pass

as people read or

talked; and baby rhyme

be opened by the page,

and story time,

and children's voices

sing behind the glass.

And there would be a

garden alongside

where water flowed, and

plants could breathe; and you

and I could find

the reasons to be true

to leisure, and the

leisurely confide;

a bright and uplifting place

where life could play,

a ready measure of

community.

Alan Alexander

Thanks to a community stalwart

I would like to acknowledge the departure of Lyn Moorfoot from the Margaret River Community Centre after some 25 years of commitment and loyalty.

As a tenant at the Community Centre for the last 6 years, I have watched Lyn's ongoing work with the people in our community that can struggle with issues in their lives. Lyn's non-judgemental, supportive assistance and wealth of knowledge of the local resources available in the south west is amazing and invaluable. So available to all people with a helping hand and smile to brighten their days. Lyn has played a major role in the Christmas Hamper arrangements every year, which is a massive undertaking well supported by volunteers and so valued by those in the community that can find Christmas a stressful time financially.

The role has been varied and challenging and I have full admiration for Lyn's commitment to our community and I will greatly miss her contributions as will many I am sure. Many thanks to you Lyn!

Kerrie Stephens, Life Without Barriers

A combined assault on our forests

The ongoing logging of our native forests is causing great disturbance and horrifying damage. This is contrary to the Forest Products Commission claim that "sustainable forest management (will) ensure that future generations are endowed with a healthy, productive and sustainable forest estate".

That's exactly what the Nannas for Native Forests are fighting for, healthy forests for generations to come, albeit by leaving them standing rather than chopping them down.

The decimation of smaller and smaller trees and the added stress of burning is reeking havoc in our forests. All this in a desperate attempt to cover costs of a dying industry, when plantation timber and farm forestry are such obvious sustainable and economically viable alternatives.

In August last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced a Special Report concluding that "reducing deforestation and forest degradation" is "one of the most effective and robust options for climate change mitigation globally".

The energetic and determined Nanas for Native Forests are calling for an end to native forest logging for the very good reason that it is not a sustainable practice.

It makes a huge mess of our South West forests in what is already classified internationally as a Biodiversity Hotspot. The term biodiversity hotspot specifically refers to 25 biologically rich areas around the world that have lost at least 70 percent of their original habitat.

The remaining natural habitat in these hotspots amounts to just 1.4 percent of the land surface of the planet, yet supports nearly 60 percent of the world's plant, bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species.

Extensive and repeated logging, clearing and burning practices are a combined assault on our forests. They contribute significantly to climate change as well as degrading the land and threatening many plant and animal species.

The hoary chestnut that "not one forestry operation in Australia has caused the extinction of any forest-dwelling species" is trotted out every time that scientists and concerned citizens, including grandmothers, point to the fact that many plant and animal species are seriously endangered.

For the record, we have no intention of standing by quietly until our rare and endangered species become extinct!

Dr Carole Peters

WA Forest Alliance Inc

Rapids Speed Reduction

I am in favour of extending the 60 kph speed zone on Bussell Highway from the current position near the Boodjidup Road roundabout to a position south of Andrews Way.

I am a resident of the Brookfield housing area, and a regular traveller towards the LIA, schools and township.

When travelling at or near 80kph, I am often required to brake heavily at the Tonkin Boulevard intersection as traffic emerges from that road onto Bussell Highway.

I believe that the 'sight-line' (to the south) for the Tonkin Boulevard drivers is very short and often obscured by traffic on Bussell Highway turning into Tonkin Boulevard and as a result, they arrive into the north bound lane of Bussell Highway leaving very little space for the northward travelling traffic.

I believe that a reduced speed zone to 60 kph would make for a safer road by allowing drivers on Tonkin Boulevard a longer time frame to assess the speed of on-coming traffic from either direction and thus exit onto Bussell Highway without causing chaotic driving.

Peri McGee

I read the front page article (The Mail, October 7) on proposed speed reduction with some interest.

While not really having an informed opinion about the speed limit around the Rapids Landing and Brookfield estates, I am concerned however, about Wallcliffe Road as I live out that side of town.

I would like to see that reduced from 90km to 80km.

Likewise with Caves Road; I think an 80km speed limit along the entire length would be sensible.

Both roads are tourist as well as access roads for businesses and trades people.

However, as numbers increase in the region, both permanent and visitors, and if we want to protect our wildlife and reduce the possibility of serious accidents, then I think it is reasonable that businesses accept a lower speed limit and may need to factor in the increased time it may take to get to a job.

As for locals, visitors and our wildlife, I think lower speed limits would make everyone feel just a little safer.

Peter Lander