Trillion Trees pays tribute to the life of Christopher Fyfe. We owe a great deal to him and respect the sacrifices he made and the strong foundations he laid for this organisation. We recognise all that he did to make the world a better and greener place.
Those who knew Chris will remember him for his deep dedication to the organisation, his loyalty, eye for detail, great sense of organisation and order. He was the Treasurer for many years. Chris also captured the spirit of the organisation in the books he wrote about the Society.
Chris Fyfe, together with his wife Shirley, became involved in Men of the Trees in the early 80s. In 1986, Chris and Shirley Fyfe purchased the land at Lot 2 Stirling Crescent, Hazelmere to give the organisation a secure base for its native plant nursery. This allowed for the hundreds of thousands of seedlings to be grown and planted each year that drives the Society’s vision and mission. The land was originally leased to MOTT for a dollar a year. In 2010, Chris commenced negotiation to gift the land to MOTT and in 2012, with the support of the Fyfe family, the transference was completed. Having this beautiful site in Hazelmere has made a huge difference to the organisation and enabled the organisation to, in Chris’ words, ‘continue to build a heritage for the future’.
Heritage for the Future (1997) is a book written by Chris Fyfe about the first eighteen years of the Society. Chris also co-edited A Keepsake Book for All Ages and Generations (1989) with Barrie Oldfield.
Not many know that Chris had a strong connection to the land even before he joined MOTT. He was part of a shearing team in North-West WA. Later he trained in wool-classing and was employed as a valuer and auctioneer. Following that, Chris became an accountant and finally a writer with many published books to his name.
In his own words he captures the essence of the organisation which has stood the test of time: ‘What the words cannot adequately impart are the disappointments, the occasional sadness and tears, the joy and laughter and the fun, and the camaraderie of people – young and old – all dedicated to the planting and preservation of trees’.
… and words cannot adequately impart the love we have for this great man, admiration of what he achieved, the support and foresight he provided to our organisation and towards making this world a place in which all people recognise the value of trees.