The National Trust was truly honored and fortunate to have Mr Darrel Plowes as an active member who one of the greatest all-round naturalists of Zimbabwe. Following a private family ceremony held in Mutare late last year a memorial bench was donated by Darrel’s family. Last month (June) the bench was placed in the orchid area at La Rochelle which was a place that had special significance to Darrel, since it was Sir Stephen who inspired Darrel’s fondness for orchids, and in turn Darrel has donated the balance of his collection back to La Rochelle. The bench was designed and made by Gary Goss, a well known local artist, and now visitors can sit and pause and reflect on the beauty of the orchids.
Darrel lived such an incredibly rich life and he was a key link between the present and past of La Rochelle – both with the Courtauld Family and the botanicals – particularly the orchids (Harvey Leared).
The inscription on the brass plaque on the backrest of the bench reads as follows:
Loving father, friend of the Courtaulds and natural historian extraordinaire
“He may now have ended his never finishing work but will always keep on inspiring me and many others for the remainder of our lives. Whether professional scientist or amateur enthusiast, we owe a great debt to his unrelenting search for knowledge and understanding of the natural world.”
Bart Wursten, Flora of Tropical Africa
The National Trust had a memorial plaque for Darrel, made from black granite, which will be placed in the grounds of La Rochelle later this year.
We are all richer for having known Darrel Plowes. We give thanks for the wonderfully inspiring life of this man and his love of all creation.