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Wanda’s Wishes

August 10, 2023

United States citizens James and Wanda Park fell deeply in love with Australia’s natural wonders in the late 1970’s, and especially, the Great Barrier Reef.

What is remarkable, is how much of that love Wanda retained upon her return to the States. She was so taken with the uniqueness of the Australian seascape that half a century later, Wanda left a significant portion of her sizable estate to support her beloved Australian oceans.

An accomplished academic, Wanda very much enjoyed attending lectures and engaging in lively discussions on various subjects encompassing the planet she so dearly loved.

Even in her late seventies, Wanda lived a life of exploring by hiking and visiting nature around the world.

Her wish to have her and husband Jim’s ashes cast together into the halcyon waters of the Great Barrier Reef, was realised in February 2023.

AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides was honoured to have accompanied Wanda’s lifelong friend Neil Wetsch to witness as Wanda and Jim’s ashes, housed in a biodegradable urn made from desert sand, was laid on a sandy area between the reefs of the Great Barrier Reef’s Low Isle. Within seconds of being placed, a cloud of small reef fish encircled the urn, and as it disintegrated, an air bubble arose to the surface, momentarily creating a halo of marine life to accompany the dispersal of the ashes.

Wanda Park lived to the age of 88 years old and leaves a lasting imprint on nature and on those who were fortunate to have known Wanda. AMCS is eternally grateful to Wanda’s generous bequest, and will be proud to continue to work to preserve our oceans as part of her legacy.