Vale John Stoate

John died on March 17th at the age of 93. John leased and then owned Anna Plains Cattle Station, south of Broome. This abuts the Eighty Mile Beach Ramsar site, which is a major hot spot for migratory waders.

The AWSG has been visiting Anna Plains Station for many years, thanks to John’s interest in these birds and the great friendship he and Clive Minton struck up. The AWSG camped on the station around the homestead for many years with the help and support of John, and in later years his son David and his wife Helen Campion. John’s eyesight faded in his last few years, and he was unable to enjoy the trips to the beach, especially with Clive, despite this he took an active interest in our activities and the running of the station. When the AWSG was at Anna Plains John and Clive met every evening to enjoy a port, a chat and probably a snooze in front of the television.

Many people have joined the expeditions to Broome over the years and we have all had a wonderful time using the facilities of the station, and camping near the main homestead. John and his family have always been very welcoming to our annual invasion of their homestead area. Visiting a cattle station has been an interesting experience for our overseas visitors, as well as Australian participants, and we were always given the opportunity to explore the station, admire the cattle and hunt for wildlife. I enjoyed evening chats on the verandah with John in 2020 when Clive was no longer with us. Covid has unfortunately prevented most of us visiting for 2 years. John will be missed, as a wonderful supporter of our work with the shorebirds, as well as great family man and contributor to the cattle industry.

Prue Wright

John enjoys holding an Oriental Pratincole, with Clive Minton, after we made a catch of 100 on the station