Our guest speaker for the evening will be Tasmanian Spider expert John Douglas.
John will be sharing with us his passion for the arachnid world.
An excerpt from The Examiner - October 2018;
John Douglas has always had a curiosity for creatures, which is lucky; growing up in outback Western Australia may have been a little hard without it.
“When I was 14 or 15 I went out into the desert with Harry Butler,” he explained.
A well-known naturalist, Butler was also joined by another naturalist, a reptile specialist, a botanist, and Douglas – who traces his more focused passion back to this moment.
But it’s a circuitous route that has led Douglas to his study and cataloguing of the eight-legged animals both personally and, more recently, with the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. One that has taken him through a number of different fields.
John started his working life at 17, as a draftsman with Ford, and until retiring seven years ago worked as a teacher across a wide range of classes at St Patrick's College, Launceston.
But spiders, and photography, were interests that ran beneath it all over the years. “That sort of just followed me through all my other jobs.”
Douglas started working with spiders for the photography – the craft of capturing their fine details an interest in itself, he said. His colleagues at St Patrick’s picked up on this. “They asked me, why don’t you do a book?”
After the launch of that first book, QVMAG made him an honorary research associate enabling him to turn much more attention to those lifelong interests.
Working on the museum’s collection one day a week, John is slowly getting through their concrete-lined, temperature-controlled vault full of specimens, describing and discovering those found here in the state – some of them new to science. The trove of information to be eventually added to the Atlas of Living Australia.
Entries for the November club competitions are due this month. The theme is OPEN. The judges for this competition will be chosen from our membership group. The usual categories of Colour & Monochrome Projected Digital Images can be entered by our members.