Brian the Rounders umpire!
Brian the Rounders umpire!

Brian is of course remembered by many for his relentless drive to protect the birds of Tuzla Wetlands. But, there's another small group of enthusiasts who remember him for something quite different - as a Rounders umpire! Around nine years ago Allyson introduced this most British of school games to a winter wasteland in Gumbet. She gathered together a motley group of sceptical individuals in various states of fitness; complete novices and old school players ranging in age from eleven to seventy. Thus the stiff competition of Sunday Bodrum Rounders was born. The pitch was marked out to exact Rounders Association specifications and the latest in bat and ball technology was brought from UK.

Whistle at the ready, Brian ruled over us with the seriousness of the true professional. He studied the offical Rounders Association rule book until he knew it by heart and and didn't hestitate to penalize us for infractions, or quell our sometimes over-exuberant inter team squabbles. With his discipline and encouragement our game improved so much that the Rounders Association were ready to bring their own team over from UK to play us. It's a tribute to him that he instilled a team spirit and inspired confidence in the older, the less agile and the Turkish players who joined us, for whom Rounders would have otherwise been an unknown sport. Off-pitch he was jovial, quick witted and humourous, drawing people together with his easy friendliness and cockney banter.

Later, when the fate of the birds became more of a preoccupation, my husband Ali was infected by Brian's passion. Ali, a nature lover, was enthralled by the kaleidoscope of bird life through Brian's telescope and impressed by his efforts to document Tuzla's bird population in such detail. With very little Turkish he managed to teach many local people to appreciate and respect the remarkable, yet fragile, natural world on their doorstep.

Ali and I are so sad that such a vital man, who's charismatic nature touched so many people, has left us too soon. We think of him with great affection and send our love to Allyson who we know will miss 'the love of her life' so much.

Kim & Ali Eryurek

Posted on 29 Jan 2009 by chris
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A Tribute to
Brian Stoneman
Brian Stoneman having lunch on a birdcounting trip with Paul Bartho to Dilek Yarimadasi Milli Park October 2007. The famous jeep behind him.
The website for the Gulluk-Tuzla and Bodrum areas that Brian worked on with his friends

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Simon the stork photo - click here for large pic and right click to save as desktop picture

I thought it would be nice to make this photo available in memory of Brian.
It's of 'Simon', the first stork that he and Allyson hand reared at their house on the coast near Guvercinlik. I've had it as my desktop background for about
4 years and have no intention of removing it, it's stunning
Photo taken by Brian.

Peter Fearnley

© 2009 C Drum Berkaya


From 1 Feb 2009