Fitzroy ‘Fitzy’ Springer
Fitzroy Springer known to his friends and colleagues as ‘Fitzy’, passed away 14th July 2012 in Cuba where he was seeking medical attention in his fight with cancer. He was xx years old. I remember first meeting Fitzroy at a Society of Caribbean Ornithology (now the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds) meeting in Martinique in 1993. He continually had us in stitches with his antics, his teasing and happy-go-lucky demeanor. We kept in contact over the years since, either participating at meetings in St. Vincent or within the Caribbean region, or when I was in St. Vincent doing project work. We collaborated recently (in 2009) on a small research project on ecological flows for the Richmond and Colonaire Rivers as part of a feasibility study by the St. Vincent Electricity Services (funded by the German Government through the GTZ-CREDP Project) when they were looking at upgrading hydroelectric generating capacity. He assisted with the flora and faunal impact assessments we had to undertake. My last contact with him was in August 2011 when the family and I sailed the Grenadines. On the way back to St. Lucia we spent the day in Kingstown where we caught up him at the Botanical Gardens and spent time admiring his beloved flock of beautiful St. Vincent Parrots housed at the Government aviary there. As Wildlife Officer with the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Forestry Department he dedicated much of his career to the protection and conservation of the wildlife of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The country and the Caribbean has lost a true champion of the environment.
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photos: courtesy Brian Johnson, Muriel Springer, Chris Cox