Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Falkland islands Dec 2018 King penguins and chick

Almost a year after she died and close to what would have been her 74th birthday, a memorial event will be held for Kerry-Jayne Wilson MNZM in Charleston on Saturday 4th March 2023.

The venue will be the Charleston Goldfields Hall, 7348 Camp Street/Coast Road aka State Highway 6 and the party will start at 2pm.

Yes, party.  To celebrate Kerry-Jayne and her life.

“Kerry-Jayne wanted no fuss, she said, no speeches, … Just have a party, she said. Well, there will likely be speeches (for once without fear of Kerry-Jayne’s right of reply :o). Otherwise it will be an informal event with time for socialising over light food and fluids afterwards.”  Dr Euan Kennedy, a great friend of Kerry-Jayne’s, added that he’s planning a later event at or near Christchurch for former colleagues, academics and research associates.

Euan and Bruce McKinlay, President of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, wrote a wonderful obituary, which was published in the journal of the OSNZ last month and they have kindly allowed us to share it here.

Kerry-Jayne Wilson MNZM – Notornis – Obituary_69_274-278.v3

For all those who knew, loved, respected and valued Kerry-Jayne, there are three things you could do.

  1. Share any photos of Kerry-Jayne with the West Coast Penguin Trust (via email here or via WeTransfer to so that they may be shared during the afternoon, and
  2. You may like to make a donation to the Trust in her memory.  A very generous sponsor has offered to match any such donations up to $5,000.  Our huge thanks to supporters who have already donated over $1,500 in memory of Kerry-Jayne after she died: our sponsor has kindly already matched that amount.
  3. Please share this with people you know who knew Kerry-Jayne and may have missed this.

Thank you, and we hope that we might see you in Charleston on 4th March to share and enjoy memories and to celebrate the extraordinary and irreplaceable Kerry-Jayne.

Kerry-Jayne was a founding Trustee, our first Chair and in fact Chair for most of the Trust’s 16 year history. She was our scientist and guide, our leader.  And of course she was so much more, first and foremost a leading seabird ecologist, but also caver, dancer, lecturer and teacher, reader and author, entrepreneur and travel guide, mentor, neighbour, friend – the list goes on.

She is hugely missed and we will do our best to give her the send off she deserves.


Update June 2023

Match funding success!

Thank you to all those who made donations in memory of Kerry-Jayne Wilson MNZM.  We invited you to donate after she died in March 2022 and again around the time of her memorial in March this year.  Together, donations came to a very generous $4,606.01.

And then our wonderful match funder stepped in and doubled that for twice the impact, so $9212.02 donated to the trust in memory and honour of Kerry-Jayne.

Thank you all, we’re immensely grateful.

Card for Kerry-Jayne Wilson