Alex Griffiths

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Alexander Morris Griffiths (5 October 1911 – 29 July 1998) was an Australian beekeeper, floriculturist and conservationist. He was born in New Zealand and arrived in Currumbin, Queensland in about 1944 where he lived with his parents on two and a half acres in Tomewin Street.[1]

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary[edit]

Griffiths founded the 26 hectare Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on his family property at Currumbin, Queensland in 1947 after he started feeding the local wild lorikeets to distract them from damaging his flowers, an initiative that grew into a major tourist attraction.

Each day, at 4.30pm crowds of people would visit to hold the plates of bread and honey for the birds to gather around.[2] While the spectacle of the birds feeding had featured in a number of magazines,[3] the October 1956 edition of The National Geographic Magazine included an article entitled "The Honey Eaters Currumbin".[4] International awareness of the Sanctuary followed and visitor numbers increased.[3]

Originally called the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary in 1976, Griffiths donated the property to the people of Queensland, to be managed by the National Trust of Queensland.[5]

It holds one of the largest collections of Australian wildlife in the world and has cared for injured wildlife since approximately 1949.[6] In 2009 it was added to the Queensland State Heritage Register.[1]

Griffths was honoured for his conservation work with numerous awards including a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January 1976 [7]

Currumbin Valley Reserve[edit]

In 1996 Griffiths bought the 4 ha rainforested property that is now the Currumbin Valley Reserve and donated it to the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland. In his will he expressed a wish for Bush Heritage Australia (BHA) to take over ownership and care of the land, and the transfer to BHA took place in 1999.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (entry 602720)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Stirling, Joseph (25 October 1953). "4 o'clock twitters at Alec's place.". Sunday Mail (Brisbane) (Qld. : 1926 - 1954). Brisbane) (Qld.: National Library of Australia. p. 3. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b McRobbie, Alexander (2000), 20th Century Gold Coast People, Surfers Paradise: The Gold Coast Arts Centre Press, ISBN 0-646-39239-5 
  4. ^ "Honey Eaters of Currumbin", National Geographic Magazine, 110 (4), October 1956 
  5. ^ CWS: About Us
  6. ^ Condon, Karl (June 29, 2012), "Currumbin celebrates its accidental sanctuary.", The Gold Coast Bulletin, Southport, p. 65 
  7. ^ "Australian Honours", Honour Roll, Australian Government, retrieved March 30, 2014 
  8. ^ BHA: Currumbin Valley Reserve

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gibbon, Tracey (June 30, 2002), "Currumbin is loosing its feathered friends.", Sunday Mail, Brisbane, p. 35