If you could draw a picture of a quintessentially old-school fisherman and conservationist it would be of Henry Jones.
Henry knew and understood the Murray Mouth, Lower Lakes and Coorong like few others. His passion for them was infectious, his commitment knew no boundaries and his willingness to share his knowledge was of such value to all he met.
South Australians owe an enormous debt to Henry for the work he did as a public face of the campaign for reform of the Murray. He has a special place in the century-long history of debates about the way the Murray-Darling is managed. This place is all the more special as he was on the right side of history.
Henry never sought the attention he received. He simply stood up to do what he was convinced was the right thing.
Henry was a conservationist who understood the value of fishing, farming and earning a living off of our greatest river system. His vision was only ever to set sustainable boundaries for the use of water, so that future generations could enjoy equal opportunities.
I have many fond memories of Henry, especially the meals of grilled fish – caught by Henry, grilled by his wife Gloria – served at a table full of maps and diagrams of the Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth where valuable knowledge was imparted and stories were shared.
We are poorer for Henry’s passing but richer for the gifts he gave in life. My thoughts and condolences go out to his wonderful wife Gloria, their children and family.