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Eulogy

Stan Sindel OAM (1934 - 2018)
Recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia

Stan was awarded Life Membership of the Avicultural Society of New South Wales Inc. for his dedication to the Society and its members and relentless contributions and willingness to share his knowledge and personal experiences in both the field and in the aviary.

(Published in The Avicultural Review, January-February 2918, Volume 40 Number 1)
(Printable Version - PDF file - Free Adobe Reader download)

Eulogy delivered by James Gill BVSc MVM MACVSc

Stan Sindel OAM (Recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia)I have known Stan for 40 years and worked with him for 35  years as his veterinarian, co-author, and book publishing partner.

Stan, particularly in New South Wales, has been referred to as the father of modern aviculture.  He certainly was a father figure to me in aviculture.  He taught me the majority of what I know about bird keeping.

Stan kept birds for over 70 years with the emphasis being on parrots, but he bred a wide range of finches and pigeons and achieved some amazing results with softbills.   He bred well over 100 species of birds.

Some examples include breeding blue and gold macaws back in the 1960s and good numbers of African greys in the 1970s and 1980s when they were still a rare bird.

His results with African lovebirds were legendary back in the 1980s.  He couldn’t resist working with a new mutation if one became available and played a major role in establishing a large number of colour mutations across a range of Australian parrots.

In the 1980s a mutation appeared in scaly-breasted lorikeets, and this was the catalyst for Stan to put his mind to solving the problems of housing and feeding lorikeets.  The result was the development and widespread use of dry food diets and the adaption of suspended wire aviaries for lorikeets.  This revolutionised the keeping of lorikeets in Australia and overseas and led to great advances in their welfare and breeding results.

At the same time this led to us setting up a publishing company and Stan started writing books.  Stan could be stubborn, but this translated into determination and persistence when it came to producing a world acclaimed series of monographs on the aviculture of the various groups of Australian parrots.  This was a monumental effort on his part over the next 20 years.  The development of his photography skills, including the design of several versions of a studio cage, became an integral part of this project.

As a result, his photographs have been used by a wide variety of bird magazines and club journals.
Stan guarded his privacy carefully due to security concerns for his large collection but also due to the time constraints of his day-to-day routine.  It was an honour to get a tour of his collection.
On the other hand, he could be extremely generous, regularly donating the major prize for the Christmas raffle at the Avicultural Society of New South Wales, or in writing articles for club magazines, or giving lectures to bird clubs.

To go along with the innovations he brought to aviculture, he became a very good educator.
He lectured to clubs around Australia and to national conferences in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.  The detail he went into in these lectures was incredible.

In 1991 he gave a lecture at an Avian Veterinary Conference for the Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney.  To the best of my knowledge, he is the only person without a university degree to ever present a lecture for this internationally recognised provider of post graduate education.

Stan was also invited to help review the parrot section of the Handbook of Australia, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds published by Birds Australia, the country’s pinnacle ornithological group.
He has consulted on the recovery project in New Zealand for the kakapo parrot.

Along the way Stan collected several significant awards to go with his Water Boards Gold Medal as the most outstanding apprentice.  The Avicultural Society of New South Wales Meritorious Achievement in Aviculture Award in 1988, the Aviculture Federation of Australia Breeders Award in 1991, several life memberships and Patron positions in bird clubs and organisations.

And to top it all, an Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day honours in 2003 for services to aviculture.

Stan used his gifts and talents to their maximum in every project he tackled; he lived life to the full.
He is survived by his wife Jill and his three children, Ann, Stephanie and Ray, and a flock of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Thank you Stan, for everything you taught me and the avicultural community.

Articles on this website by Stan Sindel - not including all the photos Stan has also supplied for other articles by other aviculturists who have contributed to articles on this site:

The Alexandrine ParakeetPsittacula eupatria (Linee) by Stan Sindel
Blue Bonnet (Northiella (psephotus) haematogaster) by Stan Sindel
Some Wild Notes on the Cloncurry Parrot (Barnardius macgillivrayi) by Stan Sindel
Stan Sindel Interviewed by Peter Phippen
Kākārikis (Cyanoramphus) and their allies by Graeme Phipps and Stan Sindel
Australian Lorikeets and their Mutations by Stan Sindel
Mallee Ringneck (Barnardius barnardi) - an article taken from Stan Sindel's book with his permission.
Mutations of Australian Parrots by Stan Sindel

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