[permaculture] Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison 1928-2016 /Co-originator of Permaculture

HeenanDoherty heenandoherty at gmail.com
Sun Sep 25 13:29:07 EDT 2016

It should also be noted that Bill died in Hobart not in Sisters Creek. 

> On 25 Sep 2016, at 18:06, Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks an unmeasurable amount for postin gthis news, Wes. Kudos to you.
> Keep up your excellent work.
> RIP Bill. That man did as much for mankind as anyone in the world ever. He
> should have gotten the Nobel Prize (though he might have rejected it).
> This statement really inspires me, it resonates with deep meaning:
> "“We are true time scouts finding places now for what will be needed then.”
> We are indeed and should never lose sight of that.
> A request to Scott Pittman: could you repost what you wrote previously
> about Bill receiving a presigious award from the Russian Academy of
> Sciences? That should be added to Graham's obit.
> LL
> On Sun, Sep 25, 2016 at 11:12 AM, Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture
> Network <lakinroe at silcom.com> wrote:
>> Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison 1928-2016
>> Graham Bell
>> Sunday, 25th September 2016
>> Graham Bell's moving tribute to Bill Mollison, who died today, a true
>> pioneer who gave up a promising academic career to challenge the status quo
>> and establish the global Permaculture movement.
>> Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison (born 1928 in Stanley, Tasmania, Australia
>> and died today, 24 September 2016 in Sisters Beach, Tasmania).
>> A few people are born who are world class heroes to those who know them
>> and unkown to the great majority, until one day their inescapable influence
>> floats to the surface and is generally recognised for the cream it is. In
>> hindsight such leaders go on to become household names.
>> Such a man was Bill Mollison: backwoodsman, academic, storyteller, lady’s
>> man and to many just ‘Uncle Bill’, but doing all these things par
>> excellence. In consequence he has left a worldwide movement of remarkable
>> resilience. He has left much useful information and not a few words of
>> guidance and encouragement for those who will miss him most.
>> Growing up in Stanley, Tasmania, he left school at fifteen to help run the
>> family bakery and before 26 went through the occupations of shark fisherman
>> and seaman (bringing vessels from post-war disposals to southern ports),
>> forester, mill-worker, trapper, snarer, tractor driver and naturalist.
>> His lack of formal education gave him many learning opportunities in how
>> the real world works.
>> Bill joined the CSIRO (Wildlife Survey Section) in 1954 and gained
>> extensive research knowledge. His time in the Tasmanian rainforests gave
>> him the founding structure for what became his life’s passion -
>> Permaculture. The idea that we could consciously design sustainable systems
>> which enabled human beings to live within their means and for all wild life
>> to flourish with us.
>> A spell at the Tasmanian Museum in curatorial duties, a return to field
>> work with the Inland Fisheries Commission took him back to college in 1966
>> living on his wits running cattle, security bouncing at dances, shark
>> fishing, and teaching part-time at an exclusive girls' school. Upon
>> receiving his degree in bio-geography, he was appointed to the University
>> of Tasmania where he later developed the unit of Environmental Psychology.
>> During his university period (which lasted for 10 years), Bill
>> independently researched and published a three-volume treatise on the
>> history and genealogies of the descendants of the Tasmanian aborigines.
>> In 1974, with David Holmgren, Bill developed the beginning of the
>> permaculture concept, leading to the publication of Permaculture One. He
>> became fixated on proving and promulgating what he saw as a world renewing
>> concept. Leaving the University in 1978, abandoning a secure academic
>> tenure at the age of fifty (an unheard of move) Bill devoted all his
>> energies to furthering the system of permaculture and spreading the idea
>> and principles worldwide. He has taught thousands of students, and has
>> contributed many articles, curricula, reports, and recommendations for farm
>> projects, urban clusters and local government bodies.
>> In 1981, Bill Mollison received the Right Livelihood Award (sometimes
>> called the "Alternative Nobel Prize") for his work in environmental design.
>> In recent years, he has established a 'Trust in Aid' fund to enable
>> permaculture teachers to reach groups in need, particularly in the poorer
>> parts of the world, with the aim of leaving a core of teachers locally to
>> continue appropriate educational work.
>> We are helped in remembering Bill by his 1996 autobiography Travels in
>> Dreams. Typically he laughs at himself: “This book is a work of fiction:
>> most if not all of it is lies. Even the lies are imprecise reports of old
>> lies overheard.” He wasn’t universally liked. One ason being he was
>> committed to disrupt the status quo of misguided unfeeling management.
>> “First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.”
>> He was eloquent about the need for peaceful ‘warriors’ as he called them to
>> challenge the stupidity of ill-governance on a global scale. His own fears
>> about being ineffectual were misguided: “Nobody takes any notice of me and
>> even my friends continually criticise me.” In reality he engendered a
>> massive global respect which will endure and grow as others develop his
>> foundation thinking.
>> The pinnacle of his career to his students was the publication in 1988 of
>> The Permaculture Designers Manual, honoured to this day by devotees as 'The
>> Bible of Permaculture'. If devotees suggests falsely some religious
>> connotation it’s really that Bill pioneered a deep respect for the planet
>> and for more sensible approaches for how we could live on it: “We are true
>> time scouts finding places now for what will be needed then.”
>> Bill asked: “Are we the public or the private person?” The truth of the
>> matter is that for all seasons we are both. Perceived as challenging, a
>> huge harvester of great ideas from around the world (and not always
>> crediting their sources) Bill was also a sensitive man, eloquent raconteur,
>> poet and appreciative of the poetry of others. He knew how to provoke
>> others to action, but also when to withdraw and let others carry on the
>> work. He paraphrased Lao Tzu: “True change is to so change things that it
>> seems natural to everybody but no-one knows who thought of it.” And: “Our
>> best will not be our children’s best.”
>> Though often outwardly gruff and challenging there was real heart to
>> everything he did.
>> Bill Mollison founded the first and original Permaculture Institute, which
>> was established in 1979 to teach the practical design of sustainable soil,
>> water, plant, and legal and economic systems to students worldwide. Bill’s
>> legacy is that hundreds of thousands of past students have created a
>> world-wide network to take his concept forward. This is a world in which we
>> are acutely aware of our environment, its capacity and its limitations, and
>> we design systems to meet human needs which respect that.
>> Bill spent his final years in Sisters Beach, Tasmania. The final words
>> must go to him in true classical tone:
>> “If you hear that I am dead tell them they lie.“
>> Graham Bell is the author of The Permacultiure Way and The Permaculture
>> Garden <http://www.green-shopping.co.uk/books/pp/graham-bell.html> and
>> has been teaching permaculture internationally for over two and a half
>> decades. He has one of the oldest forest gardens in the Borders of Scotland.
>> Cross-posted from grahambell.org <http://grahambell.org/wp-
>> content/uploads/2016/09/Bill-Mollison-Obituary-25.9.16.pdf> with our
>> thanks.
>> Help spread the permaculture word…
>> https://www.permaculture.co.uk/news/14748130637497/bruce-
>> charles-bill-mollison-1928-2016 <https://www.permaculture.co.
>> uk/news/14748130637497/bruce-charles-bill-mollison-1928-2016>
>> <https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/vivienne-
>> westwoods-10-steps-climate-revolution>
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> -- 
> Lawrence F. London, Jr.
> lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> https://sites.google.com/site/avantgeared
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