Bill Smythies *. (Memorials)

Borneo Research Bulletin, Annual 1999 | Go to article overview

Bill Smythies *. (Memorials)


1912-1999

On 27th June, 1999, the death of Bill Smythies robbed the small and rapidly diminishing band of ex-colonial foresters of one of its outstanding members. Bertram Evelyn (Bill) Smythies was born in 1912 in India, to E.A. Smythies, silviculturalist of Uttar Pradesh and in the 1940s, Chief Conservator of Forest of Nepal, and his wife, Olive, well-known author of The Tiger Lady. After school at "home" in U.K., Bill read botany and forestry at Balliol, Oxford.

He joined the Colonial Forest Service and took up duties with the Burma Forest Service from 1934 to 1948. Here, as a keen amateur ornithologist, in 1940 he was drawn into the task of writing the text for Birds of Burma. After the independence of Burma, Bill was transferred to Sarawak in 1949 and posted in Sibu as Section Forest Officer. At that time the spectacular rise of ramin (Gonystylus bancanus) as an export timber, the ensuing scramble for concessions and the burst of almost uncontrollable logging in the peatswamp forest of the Rejang Delta overshadowed all other forestry development. It was a respite for him when he was seconded for a brief period to the Sarawak Museum to sort, catalogue, and collate the bird skin collection. The project was encouraged by the Governor, the late Sir Anthony Abell, and given financial backing by the late Dato' Lok Wan Tho, who sponsored the ornithological work of the Sarawak Museum and supported an expedition by the British Museum (Natural History) in 1956 to Sabah (then British North Borneo). The result was a 300-page Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Borneo, printed in 1957 and the beautifully illustrated Birds of Borneo, first published in 1960, followed by updated editions in 1968, 1981, and 1996.

The years 1952 to 1959 were professionally, his most satisfying period as State Forest Officer, Brunei, and concurrently, Section Forest Officer, Limbang-Lawas (northeastern Sarawak). Forestry activities in Limbang-Lawas were mainly concerned with the routine of sustainable management under a working plan of the unique deltaic coniferous peatswamp forest in Kayangeran Forest Reserve, Lawas, producing sempilor (Dacrydium pectinatum, Podocarpaceae) timber, controlling and guiding the pioneering steps into commercial logging of Mixed Dipterocarp forests in the hills of the Limbang valley by James Wong, and exploring forest potentials mainly for conservation but also for possible later treatment, protection, and forest production, collecting botanical specimens by the way. In Brunei, Bill enjoyed full political backing by the conservation minded government. Based on the results of the excellent work by foresters seconded from Malaya in the 1930s, Bill was able to initiate a heavy but well-balanced program of soil , site, and forest resource assessment, forest mapping and demarcation, botanical, ecological and sociological exploration, taxonomy, silvicultural trials and silvicultural and management routines. These activities were integrated in 1955 in a 10-year forestry development plan.

The conceptual features of Bill's approach to forestry in the tropical rainforest were the traditional principles of multi-purpose social forestry and the combination of basic natural science and practical silviculture, utilization, management and conservation which is crucial for achieving sustainability. His aim was the prudent use and sustainable development of human and natural resources by integrating prudent conservation, rational management, and social development. Closest to his heart were botanical exploration, autecological observation of plant and animal species, and taxonomy of trees and non-tree plant species. Bill recognized the immense importance of scientific research for forest management, conservation, and development. He cooperated closely with the forest research in Kepong (now FRIM) and Sandakan, in addition to Kuching, and enlisted the help of I.A.N. Hutchinson as silviculturist and P.S. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bill Smythies *. (Memorials)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.