The sudden and unexpected death of Stewart Pyper came as a great shock to his fellow council members. Stewart will be greatly missed by the members of the council and all his many friends in the bird world, who knew him personally or through their dealings with the Avicultural Society and before that the Foreign Bird League.
Stewart phoned me on Monday morning, October 17th, to discuss society business and enquire about the progress of the next issue of the magazine. He invariably phoned me each Monday morning and perhaps once or twice during the course of the week and on this occasion, as on previous occasions, he sounded his usual bright and breezy self, and there was not the slightest hint that anything might have been amiss. Immediately after calling me, he spoke to the Avicultural Society President, Raymond Sawyer, and called Raymond again early that evening and talked about writing a piece for the magazine about Raymond’s recent 87th birthday celebration and of visiting Raymond at Chestnut Lodge the following week. It seems that Raymond may have been the last person to have spoken to Stewart, because when John Ellis phoned later that evening, there was no answer.
A few weeks earlier Stewart had been among those manning the society’s stand at this year’s National Exhibition, hosted by the Parrot Society UK, at the Staffordshire County Showground, he had taken part in the society’s visit to Germany and had been largely responsible for organising our Autumn Social Meeting at Paultons Park. Stewart had been an Avicultural Society council member for a great many years and had been closely involved in all aspects of the smooth running of the society. He is probably irreplaceable and, as I wrote earlier, will be greatly missed.
We hope to publish a fuller appreciation in the next issue of the magazine.
Editor of the Avicultural Magazine