[permaculture] [eu-pc-network] Re: 'Bill' Mollison 1928-2016 / Co-originator of Permaculture

Steve Hart stevenlawrencehart at gmail.com
Tue Sep 27 16:09:47 EDT 2016

He will live forever there is no doubt about that Piero. Bill was always a
great one for cryptic conversation. Hopefully over the next period we will
read more stories.

 In NZ our indigenous people the Maori celebrate death with funerals or
Tangi being a celebration of memory and story of the passing. I was very
fortunate to have spent considerable amount of time with Bill from my first
PDC in Stanley Tasmania in 1981 through to and beyond the IPC3 in NZ. I
convened a number of courses with him and did a few road trips and also
drank a good amount of top shelf during such.  One which Skeeta remembers
at his first PDC.

One of Bills sayings which I use sometimes in presentations or
conversations especially with architects is his "Bruce Effect".  Quite
ironic in that his first christian name is Bruce. Bill was great at
entering any debate on any subject. The gay fraternity could not hide
either. Very simply "The Bruce Effect" was: "The further you move away from
nature the further you move away from nature" of course there was extended
story backing this up. He was a great story teller, stretcher of the truth,
evangelist, vast exaggerator but he was also skilled at pushing your
capacities to think about anything he commented on. Another moment I recall
clearly in the PDC after IPC3 in NZ,  I invited the leading TV channel in
NZ to have their top agriculture journalist interview Bill. Which started
off "Well Mr Mollison, great Australian raconteur - farmer what would you
have to teach us NZ farmers"  Bill looked at him with his wry grin and said
"Turkeys and Eels" then walked off. It was a simple cryptic message that
said..wake up and understand your indigenous / natural ecology and pattern
or imitate that. Of course NZ before the English invasion and inheritance
of English farming regimes was a country similar in size to Great Britain
with 87% forest cover. Its native ecology was predominantly one of forests
birds and eels. The english destroyed the forest and drained the eel laden
swamps to impose their farming ecology. We are still paying for it 150
years on.

Steve Hart

On 27 September 2016 at 22:15, <piero.gigante at cesnet.it> wrote:

> Dear Perma colleagues,
> His last words will stay in our hearts...
> “If you hear that I am dead tell them they lie.“
> Bill lives in our work, our projects and our lives, Our most sincere
> condolences go out to his family and to the whole Permaculture community,
> from everyone at Cesnet,
> Piero Gigante
> *Co-ordinator*
> *www.cesnet.it <http://www.cesnet.it> *
> *Bioregional Network *
> Il 25.09.2016 18:34 Sandra Joel Campe ha scritto:
> Dear colleagues,
> I just received the message that Bill Mollison has died today.
> With gratitude for his (and many other people's) legacy,
> SandraJoel
> -------- Weitergeleitete Nachricht --------
> Betreff: Re: [permaculture] Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison 1928-2016
> /Co-originator of Permaculture
> Datum: Sun, 25 Sep 2016 16:02:05 +0000 (UTC)
> Von: Michael Pilarski <friendsofthetrees at yahoo.com>
> Antwort an: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> An: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>  Bill Mollison is dead. Long live Bill Mollison! I just received word
> that Bill Mollison died today. Bill’s body may be dead but his spirit
> lives on in the (by now) vast permaculture movement that he left
> behind.   Bill was a friend from the first time we met in 1982, when he
> guest taught at the first permaculture design course I took (led by
> Andrew Jeeves).  In 1986 I helped arrange (and took) Mollison’s first
> Dryland Permaculture Design Course (in the upper Kittitas valley in
> eastern Washington).  Bill was in his prime then. A very charismatic
> person, brilliant thinker and one of the top people on how to live
> sustainably in the dryer parts of the globe.  Not everyone liked Bill.
> He liked to stir the pot, particularly with feminists, vegetarians and
> western liberals and he became more of a curmudgeon in his latter years.
> In his heyday, Bill traveled the world widely teaching permaculture
> wherever he went. His brilliance and charisma are the reason that
> permaculture became the global movement it is today.  Of course Bill was
> just the spark that ignited the larger fire that is composed of the tens
> of thousands of permaculture teachers and groups that exist today.  We
> must also give great credit to David Holmgren for the big role he
> continues to play in permaculture.  One last kudo to Bill is that he was
> a big hit with indigenous people wherever he went. His humor, openness,
> iconoclastic attitude and opposition to the powers-that-be gave him a
> place in their hearts.  Not everyone may miss Bill Mollison, but manyof
> us will.   Michael Pilarski, September 25, 2016.
>     On Sunday, September 25, 2016 8:13 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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> --
> sandra joel campe
> sieben linden ecovillage
> d-38489 beetzendorf
> germany
> skype: xcampe.sinax
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Kia ora Ehoa

[image: Picture]
*Steve Hart*
*Ecology Architect*
*Designer, Teacher, Builder of Ecologically Sustainable Resilient
Environments, through Urban Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture
and Systems Ecology.​*
Skype: tipenemanawa
Phone: +64 220 75 62 11

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