A key link with the history of Queensland national parks has been broken with the death of H. Sydney Curtis at Killarney on 27 December 2015.
While very few members would have come into contact with Syd, for 25 years he was most influential in the identification, declaration and management of our national parks.
Born in 1928 and raised on Tamborine Mountain, he became a forester in the Queensland Forestry Department. In 1963, he moved to the new national park section and formed a dedicated team to manage the park estate and to consider proposals for expansion. He was responsible for the new approach of selecting new national parks on the basis of representative samples of the Queensland landscape including the less scenic.
When the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service was formed in 1975, he was appointed Director of Management and Operations.
In 1982, he became Assistant Director (Policy and Legislation) and continued in that role until retiring in 1988.
Syd was a quiet person but always a staunch proponent of national park principles. His grandfather had been partly responsible for the declaration of Witches Falls National Park in 1908.
He had an intense interest in lyrebird research and had peer-reviewed articles published in Emu.
A private funeral was held on 8 January 2016.