Farmer, astronomer, climate change sceptic mourned

ASTRONOMY and a penchant for political debate will be remembered tomorrow by family and friends as they reflect on the life of Portland region farmer Don Ward.

The regular contributor to The Standard’s letters page died suddenly last week aged 73. His funeral is scheduled to be held tomorrow morning at Warrnambool’s Anglican Church.

Mr Ward was a Victorian Astronomical Society member and contributed to the association’s journal for a number of years, as well as other publications.

He became known for his outspoken views on climate change and wrote dozens of letters to the editor on the subject.

Mr Ward’s sister Betty Stafford said her brother’s interest in astronomy was stimulated by the beginnings of the American-Soviet space race in the late 1950s.

“Don was fascinated by astronomy and invested a lot in his equipment. He even built his own telescope as a teenager,” Mrs Stafford said.

“He also had firm views on global warming and climate change. 

“Don wrote so many letters to the editor, I think we lost count of how many he contributed.”

Mrs Stafford said the Gorae West farmer also had a life-long interest in agriculture and made a presentation to a parliamentary committee on the subject three years ago.

“He was well-known for his piano playing at old-time dances as well,” she said.

“Don was one of those characters that was full of life and endlessly interested in a number of subjects.”

Mr Ward was born in Cobden during World War Two and lived in the Nullawarre district before moving to Gorae West with his wife Helen in 1973.

Mrs Ward died two years ago. The couple had three children.

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