Nearly 40 years ago, John Landy, well known athlete and governor of Victoria, gave Mary D. White, founding member of ANGAIR, a butterfly collection box of over 40 local species of butterflies.
Not so well known is the fact that John had been an avid butterfly collector since childhood. His collection of 139 boxes of nearly 10,000 specimens was donated to the Australian Museum in 2017. It is greatly valued due to its extensive coverage of Australian butterfly fauna over time, and its geographical significance as it shows butterfly species from many different environments.
We believe that the collection box we treasure was a duplicate that John prepared especially for Mary to thank her for sharing her love of the flora and fauna of Anglesea with him. In particular she shared her knowledge of the plants, and he in turn shared his knowledge of the butterflies as they often walked together in the local environment.
This collection that ANGAIR inherited after Mary’s death in 1996 is housed in the Mary D. White Resource Centre at Anglesea and is available for people to observe. Mary also painted most of the local butterflies and copies of these paintings are also housed in the Resource Centre. She used John’s collection to gain details of the butterflies she observed in the field.