It is with great sadness that I share with you the news that Tony Gilding passed away peacefully yesterday 7th May following a relatively short but serious illness. Many of you would be aware that Tony stepped down from the NRWH board in January this year to focus on his health.
Tony was a committed environmentalist and advocate for conservation. He was a founding director of the Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital in January 2019, but even well prior to that, the establishment of a permanent ‘bricks and mortar’ facility delivering quality veterinary care to endangered wildlife in the region had been front of mind for Tony. In fact, a lot of legwork on potential sites had been pioneered by Tony and others well before 2019. Nevertheless, with the support of a group of like-minded professionals and community leaders in the region, NRWH was formed and is now very close to receiving permission to commence building.
The project has no doubt lost a great mentor and supporter and will miss his enthusiasm. However, I can advise that in the two weeks prior to Tony’s passing and with typical stoicism, Tony insisted on and made a very generous offer to provide funding for the construction of a series of animal enclosures, subject to all necessary planning and veterinary advice. An MOU was duly agreed and signed, and funding has been received. Tony will be missed by us all. However, the important work of NRWH continues, and the animal enclosures will represent a visible legacy from Tony.
NRWH was very dear to Tony’s heart, and that has been acknowledged by his family who have kept us informed of his situation. The NRWH has extended its condolences to Tony’s family at this difficult time.