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Hare, John Forsyth (Jack) (1922–2010)

by Rick Underdown

John Forsyth (Jack) Hare was born on January 5, 1922, in Pontypool, Wales, and grew up in Essex where he attended Brentwood Boys’ Grammar School.

In 1939 he joined the Royal Air force and learned to fly. On receiving his “wings” his hopes of becoming a fighter pilot were dashed when he was posted to Banff in Canada as an instructor at the Empire Flying School. He served with the Royal Air Force as a pilot instructor reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Following the war, Jack attended University College of North Wales, Bangor, graduating in June 1949 with a B.Sc (Forestry). In August 1948 Jack and Peg were wed in Cambridge, a marriage spanning over 60 years.

From 1949 Jack held a series of forestry positions including with The English Timber Supply Company in Essex advising landowners on woodland management; Woodland Manager for Lord Montagu on the 10 000 acre Beaulieu Estate, Hampshire, managing productive forest and amenity woodland; and the Forestry Commission at Dunwich Forest, Suffolk managing harvesting operations.

Then in 1957 great opportunities in forestry arose in foreign parts and Jack, a man of adventure, set out with his family (by now including 3 children) for Australia having secured a 3-year contract with the South Australian Government. He joined the Woods & Forests Dept initially as Assistant Forester, Mount Burr, and then Assistant District Forester, Mt. Gambier both roles in charge of logging operations. From 1963 Jack was Assistant to the Regional Forester, South East, coordinating the supply of logs to Mt. Gambier State Mill, and pulpwood to Apcel, Cellulose and Panelboard

Jack became District Forester, Penola Forest Reserve from 1969. What better place for a man with a discerning palate, the heart of Coonawarra. Brands Laira became a favorite drop. One memorable night, a Beef Steak & Burgundy Club formal event when the local product had been freely sampled, Jack was called away. A member of staff had set fire to a lookout tower after throwing a cigarette butt out of the window. Jack, somewhat worse for wear, cut a striking figure, climbing the flaming tower in formal attire to rescue what he could.

From 1977 until his retirement in 1984, Jack held a Senior Forester role based in the Adelaide Head Office providing specialist advice for forestry field operations.

Jack was a most gentle natured, good humored person not known to ever utter a cross word. His smile was rather whimsical and his chuckle quite distinctive. He took everything in his stride.

Jack is fondly remembered by his IFA colleagues in South Australia.

(Compiled by Rick Underdown with the assistance of IFA members)

Original publication

  • Forester, vol 53, no 4, December 2014, p 27

Citation details

Rick Underdown, 'Hare, John Forsyth (Jack) (1922–2010)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/hare-john-forsyth-jack-18447/text30092, accessed 22 September 2017.

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