Announcement Archive


Albert Turner June 1916 – January 2018

The Society is sad to announce the passing of Albert Turner at the age of 101.

Albert discovered and propagated Erica arborea ‘Albert’s Gold’ (description and illustration within this website) and the cultivar was subsequently introduced into cultivation by Denbeigh Heather Nurseries by 1975. After Albert celebrated his 100th birthday, in June 2016, the Society was delighted to place  a “news” item on this website and to feature a photograph of Albert on the front cover of the 2016 Autumn Bulletin including a few words from Albert’s grandson within that same Bulletin.

The Heather Society wishes to extend sincere condolences to Albert’s family, for their sad loss.

Donald Mackay passed away on 24th November 2018

Donald Mackay

1926 - 2018

The Society sadly announces the passing of Donald Mackay on 24th November 2018.

Donald Mackay joined the North American Heather Society (NAHS) in 1987.  By March of 1988, "Dr. Donald Mackay" was listed on the Heather News masthead as "Northeast Editor" and contributed an article to that issue.  Donald served as the northeast regional editor of Heather News in 1988 and 1989.  He served as acting editor of the periodical from 1990 through most of 1994 and as the society's official editor from then until the end of 2002.  While he was editor, if not enough articles were submitted to fill an issue, Donald would write his own articles on a diverse assortment of topics having to do in any way, however small, with heathers.  During some years, he wrote more than 40 articles.

After passing along the editorial red pen in 2003, Donald Mackay continued to write articles for Heather News.  He was its most prolific and dependable author, submitting between two and six articles per year.  His last article was published in the November/December 2018 issue of Heather News Electronic.

Donald served as NAHS president from 1990 through 1992 and again in 1999 and 2000.  He also served for many years in various offices of its Northeast Heather Society (NEHS) chapter and was vice-president of NEHS at the time of his death.  He served as principal author of the NEHS publication A Regional Heather Growing Guide.

Soon after joining the NAHS, Donald became a member of The Heather Society (THS) and remained so until his passing. During that period, Donald corresponded regularly with members of the THS, attended at least two Conferences and contributed articles to the Yearbook of The Heather Society for no fewer than four editions.

Donald leaves a son and two daughters (his wife, Lottie, and a daughter pre-deceased him), nine grandchildren and his longtime companion, Elinor Cohen.  The Heather Society extends our sympathy to them.

Ella May T. Wulff

The passing of Ron Cleevely

The Society is very saddened to announce that Honorary Member, Ron Cleevely passed away, at his Devon home, on 26 February 2017.

Ron joined the Society in 1971 and soon became a stalwart member, especially indexing the Yearbooks (from 1963 through to 1993). In 1982, in recognition of his indexing work, Ron was made an Honorary Member of the Society. He also belonged to the Cape Heath Group, and he and Ros attended the party at Dr Violet Gray’s garden, Hindhead, in 1973 (Heathers 2: 38). Ron was Assistant Editor of the Yearbook from 1994 to 2001.

Ron became a Member of the Council of the Society in 1994, a position which he retained until 2001. In 1997 he was elected Hon. Secretary, retiring in 2001.

The Heather Society wishes to extend sincere condolences to Ron’s wife, Ros Cleevely, for her sad loss.