Obituary – Prof. Matthew Aitken Clark

 
 Aitken Clark

Prof. Dr. Aitken Clark

 Aitken Clark und Gerhard Thielcke

Aitken Clark with Gerhard Thielcke

 

Dear friends of Living Lakes,

 

On April 9, 2010, our good friend and mentor Professor Matthew Aitken Clark, OBE, Vice-President of Global Nature Fund, died after a short but intense illness. We will never forget him, and his great humanity and spirit will be alive within all of us. Aitken was the soul of Global Nature Fund and the Living Lakes Network.

 

If we can speak today of a “Living Lakes Family”, it is because Aitken gave everybody the feeling that he or she is very much welcome into the group, and that everyone''s contribution is important. We spent countless beautiful days with him, and had so many good times together, as we were guided by his advice, inspired by his unbreakable optimism, and surrounded by his wonderful sense of humour. Aitken was always full of ideas and plans for Global Nature Fund and the Living Lakes Network. In spite of our grief, we are convinced that he would not want us to stay paralyzed and sad. Aitken was a man always looking towards the future, and he would like us to continue his feats and efforts with just the same energy and positive spirit as he would have given to the project.

We have been so lucky and privileged to work with him, and to have him as a good friend by our side. All what we can say is “Thank you so much Aitken – you will always be in our minds and our hearts”.

 

Aitken Clark was the first Chief Executive of the Broads Authority from its inception in 1979 until 2001. When he took on the role the Broads, member in the Living Lakes network, were suffering from serious environmental degradation. Under his leadership water quality improved, habitats were restored and lost rare wildlife returned. In 1998, Professor Clark was awarded the OBE for his work with national park development and in 1999 the Delta D’Oro Award for European Conservation.

 

Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife Frances, and his children and grand children. We can just imagine how difficult it is for his family to accept this sudden loss. We hope that they will be able to take some comfort from knowing how much all of us in the Living Lakes family have been affected by his life and by his passing.