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Price, Clive William (1923–2012)

Clive [William Price] was born in Hobart—his father a Welshman, his mother of German descent. The family moved to Tasmania when Clive’s father was an engineer for the Portland cement factory.

Clive was the fourth of five children consisting of three girls and two boys.

On returning to Brisbane, Clive attended primary school at Eagle Junction on Brisbane’s north side and then completed his secondary schooling in 1941 at Brisbane Grammar.

He joined the RAAF in 1942 and via Canada saw the theatre of war from air bases in the UK with 467–463 Squadron as a bomb aimer. He flew 31 missions over Germany, which was a remarkable record. Equally astounding was that when he returned to Australia after all this action, he was not yet 21 years of age.

His pre-war education qualified Clive for his tertiary Forestry training at Queensland University and in Canberra, graduating at the end of 1949 in the Science of Forestry. While an experienced and successful man of the air, Clive’s reputation as a driver on the ground became obvious in Canberra, and then throughout his life, it was perfunctory in style, and unnerving in execution!

Clive and Val married after a six week courtship in what proved to be a match made in heaven. They enjoyed each other’s company displaying highly creative skills, together and individually.

Their children, Warren and Narelle, enjoyed country childhood in many forestry towns where Clive and Val developed a wide range of hobbies, including house renovations, wine making, gardening and of course wood carving. Clive was a master, with an attention to detail that won him praise and trophies all over the country. He carved birds, brahman bulls, hermit crabs, leaves and, later in life, complete rocking horses.

Clive was not only interesting, but interested in all and everything around him, and this accurately describes him. He was witty, sharp, articulate, and artistic, while a humble home-loving man. He had a love of forestry and its history. Following his graduation in 1949, Clive’s first professional forestry role was in charge of a soil survey camp at Toolara near Gympie. In 1952 he went on to Monto and in 1957 back to Gympie in forestry production roles.

In 1959 he was made Forester in Charge of Imbil Sub-District. While stationed here he tried his hand at 8mm film making. This included jumping humans through hoops (MGM style), but like all home movies they had limited appeal.

About this time Clive demonstrated his talent for writing. This included children’s books based on forests and later in life, regular and strong expressions on many subjects as Letters to the Editor in The Courier-Mail in Brisbane, not controversial but always with a data-based argument.

In 1962 he was promoted to Fire Protection Officer for the Queensland Department of Forestry. He proved to be innovative and practical by introducing new equipment and overseeing the Department back to a hazard reduction burning policy for the State’s native forests. In 1970 Clive, Val and family moved to Yarraman where Clive was promoted to D/F (District Forester) and he was known as “the Boss” or C.W.P.

While not a strong follower of technical forest management, he encouraged his staff and demonstrated great loyalty, and as such, received great loyalty in return.

He had honed his writing skills by articulating detailed responses to head office management when he believed they were being unfair or critical of his staff or their efforts. He was a great team man and the team loved him.

Yarraman Forestry District included the responsibility for four National Parks including the Bunya Mountains. This Park was the second declared in Queensland and Clive took a major interest in its management and development.

This enthusiasm, along with his feel for practical environmental management, were his credentials for moving to the newly created National Parks and Wildlife Service as Deputy Director in 1975. He served in this role with distinction until his retirement in 1985. Retirement was more a shift of workload. Clive was on the Executive Team of the “Men of the Trees” Organisation and a Queensland President of Greening Australia. He was a member of the Wood Craftsmen’s Guild of Queensland, assisting in organising many of their functions.

Socially, he was a committee man for his RAAF Squadron and also PROBIS, as well as assisting students with their English training.

This extensive and long-running community involvement saw Clive awarded a Queensland Premier’s Award, and then in 1996 he was nationally recognised for his efforts with an Order of Australia Medal.

His involvement with the IFA over several decades was considerable and included the role of Secretary of the Queensland Branch.

He was a good man with great principles and skills. He was proud of his family and they of him.

On behalf of the wider Forestry family, Clive, we salute you.

Original publication

  • Forester, vol 56, no 1, March 2013, pp 27-28

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Citation details

'Price, Clive William (1923–2012)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/price-clive-william-18487/text30146, accessed 25 September 2017.

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