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Jones, Albert (1927–2002)

They gathered at Second Valley Forest Headquarters on 16 April 2002 to recognise the remarkable man that was Albert Jones. Born in a house 50 metres from the current headquarters it was inevitable that forestry work was in the blood.

When Second Valley pine forest was established in 1912 six men were employed on the project, four of them were from the Jones family. Albert, the officer in charge, is the grandson of Tom Jones who started in 1912. Albert was ably assisted by his brothers Reg, Alan, Merv and his son Robert. Another brother, Len, also worked for the Department at Mount Crawford Forest.

Today, nearly 74 years later, members of the Jones family are still working at Second Valley Forest. During this time the Jones family have established a unique record of nearly 310 collective years of service in the Woods & Forests Department, now ForestrySA, including nearly 270 years at Second Valley Forest — an incredible family record that is surely hard to equal in any establishment in Australia.

Albert took over the management of Second Valley Forest Reserve from his father, Alan Jones, who was foreman in charge from 1926 to 1958. For 60 years, Second Valley Forest Reserve was managed by either Alan or Albert Jones and much of the success of this forest can be directly attributed to the land management policies of both these men.

Albert officially joined the workforce in 1943 as a youth labourer and he worked his way through the ranks as a forest worker, plant operator — he was probably the first bulldozer operator in the Department — and foreman, until taking over the management of the forest after his father’s death. He retired in November 1987.

Second Valley Forest Reserve is a mosaic of pine plantations of various ages and intermixed areas of native vegetation. The pine forests are on poor soils and the present thriving plantations have been substantially assisted by superphosphate. Albert worked with the experts in developing a good superphosphate program to promote the health and vigour of the young trees growing today.

Albert’s dedication to his work, his sensitivity to the land, and his principles of land management have all contributed to the success of Second Valley Forest.

However, Albert’s interest in forestry went much further than his work. He personally purchased, and encouraged the Department to purchase, various items of plant and equipment which had been used in forestry operations during the last 100 years. Albert’s plan was to restore the items and assemble them into a museum collection, focussing on the history of forest. The pieces now reside in the Yankalilla District Historical Museum.

Albert’s funeral service was appropriately held at Second Valley Forest Headquarters — the base for his forestry achievements.

The funeral was a large gathering with a personal and country atmosphere. It was attended by many people from the local area, sporting bodies and the forest industry — a testament to Albert’s love of sport, commitment, and service to his community as well as to forestry.

However, the forest was not to be denied and made the final statement. As the eulogy was nearly over, hundreds of black cockatoos rose noisily from the trees nearby and flew slowly over the congregation, then wheeled and flew back again. A fitting farewell for a man of the forest.

Original publication

  • Forester, vol 43, no 3, September 2002, p 9

Citation details

'Jones, Albert (1927–2002)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/jones-albert-18344/text29973, accessed 11 August 2020.

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