One of the founders of Friends of Verloren Valei dies

It is with a very sad heart that we announce the passing of Bill Mincher, one of the founding members, and for a long time the treasurer, of Friends of Verloren Valei. Bill passed away in his sleep on the morning of Monday, 17th June 2019.

Bill was well-known as a keen fly fisherman, and was a founding member and driving force behind the creation of Wild Orchids Southern Africa. His passion for conserving South Africa’s indigenous orchids led him also to support the formation of a Friends group to protect one of the country’s top orchid hotspots, Verloren Valei.

His work for Wild Orchids Southern Africa brought together the hobbyist orchid grower, the public as well as the academic fraternity, fostering a much wider awareness of the roughly 500 orchid species found in South Africa. 

Aside from his invaluable contribution to conservation and fly fishing, Bill also had a successful career in the packaging industry, where he was known as an innovator. Latterly, he brought the same qualities of innovation and leadership to the security fencing industry.

Bill served as Treasurer of the Friends of Verloren Valei for many years, only giving up the position when his illness made it impossible to continue. In gratitude for his contribution over the years, the Friends of Verloren Valei elected him the organisation’s first patron at its recent AGM.

In everything he did, Bill demonstrated tremendous dedication and complete integrity. He will be sorely missed by all that knew him, an irreplaceable icon in the world of South African Orchids and conservation generally.

The Friends of Verloren Valei sends sincere condolences to the Mincher family, especially his children Jane, Bryan and Craig, and his grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in honour of Bill Mincher at St. George’s Anglican Church (7 Sherborne Road, Parktown) on Saturday 22 June 2019 at 10:30am.

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