Coffs loses ?staunchest environmentalist

THE Coffs Coast lost one its its staunchest environmental advocates with the passing last month of David Callaghan.

Affectionately known as the city's oldest 'greenie' he died of an infection following eye surgery aged 92.

Born in Moora, Western Australia, David grew up in an orphanage with his nine brothers and sisters.

He started his working life on a wheat and sheep farm at the age of 14, but moved to Sydney to enlist in the army in 1933, and served in New Guinea before becoming a linesman with the PMG in 1945.

In 1950 he and his new wife, Rita, moved to Coffs Harbour to become farmers and he quickly cemented a proud reputation as a campaigner for the environment.

A quiet and unassuming man David Callaghan in the 1950s and '60s conducted research into the effects of chemicals such as Dieldran on people and the environment, and constantly sought alternatives to chemical weed and pest control, as well as fossil fuels and water practices.

He also planted trees along the highway between Crystal Waters and Sapphire Pines and reviewed the city's water and sewerage schemes.

His dedication to improving the local environment lead to David being a driving force behind the formation of the CROPO Organics group which he remained passionate about until his death.

He proudly received a landcare award from Jack Thompson.

More recently he actively campaigned against the addition of fluoride to the city's water.

David is survived by his wife, Rita, their three children, seven grandchildren and six great grand- children.

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