Kerry-Jayne Wilson, conservationist, seabird ecologist, adventurer, scientist and all round extraordinary human being, has died. She leaves a gaping hole but a superb legacy.
Kerry-Jayne was a founding Trustee of the West Coast Penguin Trust in 2006 and Chair for most of the years since then. She has been our inspiration, scientist, guide and leader.
As Dr Euan Kennedy, one of her closest friends, told me, she slipped away just before dawn on Tuesday morning, adding “How appropriate – that’s when the shearwaters depart for the ocean.”
Kerry-Jayne has been a wonderful inspiration, mentor, and friend to so many. We all know she has been at the forefront of seabird conservation for decades and our guide and leader at the West Coast Penguin Trust since we started out in 2006.
Her absence is filling our thoughts but also inspiring us to be and do better, and to maintain her legacy and maintain the effort to protect and conserve threatened seabirds.
Rest in lasting peace Kerry-Jayne, soaring forever with your beloved albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters on the wild ocean winds.
As a tribute to Kerry-Jayne’s memory and her enduring love for the West Coast and all seabirds, her family have chosen the West Coast Penguin Trust for memorial contributions.
A very generous donor has offered to match any donations made in her memory up to $5,000.
Donations can be made via the Trust’s website westcoastpenguintrust.org.nz/donate.
A memorial service will be some way off and details will be announced when they are known.
Those who have known Kerry-Jayne have been sharing comments and memories.
First this from Dr Thomas Mattern of The Tawaki Project:
This from Dr Pablo Garcia Borboroglu (Popi) of the Global Penguin Society:
“We are the energy and the memories we leave behind. It was always an inspiration to meet and interact with Kerry Jane. We will continue working tirelessly to honor her magnificent conservation legacy. Thank you so much Kerry Jane for everything you have left behind.”
And some more:
“Kerry-Jayne was a true legend in so many ways and we all know how much her legacy will continue to live on.”
“I can never forget Kerry-Jayne, and have the fondest memories of her as a most exceptional being.”
“What a great loss to the seabird/penguin community.”
“She was such an inspiration, mentor, friend and work-mate (my boss) to me. And I am forever grateful for the opportunities she has given me.”
“Kerry-Jayne was a special person and a wonderful wildlife biologist.”
“It is an honour to have known her and to be a part of the circle around her.”
And more are on our facebook announcement.