Cyril Maitland Ash Brown was born in Adelaide on 21st December, 1906.
In 1953 soon after moving from South Australia to Perth, Cyril joined the Western Walking Club. The following year, one contributor to the first edition of the club magazine, described him as ‘a talkative lad’. This reputation was to remain with him. Cyril held various positions with the Club’s Executive and Committee and in 1974 was elected as an Honorary Life Member.
A keen environmentalist, Cyril was active in the Tree Society, The Wildflower Association and the Naturalist’s Club. He travelled widely, staying in YHAs and was an avid climber in the Stirling Ranges. Those few who climbed with him could not forget ‘his spare frame clad in shorts bounding up steep places with unbelievable energy’ and talking while others had not breathed enough to comment. He had almost completed a definitive guide to the Stirling Ranges before his death at the age of 76.
An encyclopedia of knowledge on flora, fauna and Greek history
A former President, David Shattock, remembered Cyril as ‘an amazing character, an encyclopedia of knowledge on flora, fauna and Greek history’. To David, he was an ‘icon of bushwalking in his ex-army poncho as he loomed through mountain mist and rain’.
In the time before the Bibbulmun Track, Cyril led new walks up Mt Solus plus Mounts Cuthbert and Vincent.
When Cyril died on 18th September, 1983, the club lost one of its most colourful personalities. However, the bequest he left to The Western Walking Club Inc has already helped to benefit bushwalkers.
A donation made in 2019 from this bequest to the Bibbulmun Track Foundation will go towards improving the Waalegh shelter while a plaque erected in the Northern Terminus will inform any hikers of his generosity.