Cameron McMaster

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 27 Nov 2018 11:13:30 PST
I have just learned from Rhoda that Cameron died November 24 after nine 
years of battling cancer. I was so fortunate to have met Cameron and to 
have stayed with him and Rhoda in South Africa, to go on a trip to the 
Eastern Cape led by him, and to have him visit us in California. I 
remember the first time we met when he was still living in the Eastern 
Cape. It was September and he had spent a lot of time prior to our trip 
trying to find anything in flower to show us as this was a summer 
rainfall area. But Cameron was an expert in more than just flowers. He 
knew birds and butterflies too. Finally we just enjoyed being with him 
and seeing the scenery and hearing his stories. Cameron was a renowned 
consultant for farmers, making regular trips to Australia. A lot of us 
purchased bulbs and seeds from African Bulbs. Mine are still flowering 
regularly. He and Rhoda knew the right time to ship and the quality was 

Cameron was a very kind and generous man, but also organized with high 
standards. Going on a trip with him was so special as he would arrange 
lodging with farmers he knew and take you to places that you were sure 
to see wonderful things. None of that would have been possible if you 
had to make your own arrangements. One of our places (first time used by 
him) was not up to his standards and he cancelled the second night and 
found us what turned out to be one of the best places we stayed in on 
our trip and his knowledge of the area was so excellent that he knew an 
area that had burned the year before and substituted it. It was a great 
place to botanize.…

Cameron loved sharing the special places in South Africa and his 
enthusiasm was contagious. I have so many memories of his kindness to me 
but one I'll share is that he arranged a special birthday celebration 
for me on our Eastern Cape trip. We had a very delicious dinner in a 
cave with candle light in brown bags on long tables. It was magical.  
And then there was a thunderstorm and we witnessed a real show of 
lighting and soon rain streaming down in the opening of the cave. It was 
like he had provided entertainment as well. And there was the time that 
he sacrificed the cold water he was saving for the end of a day looking 
for plants and poured it over my head when I was suffering from the very 
hot day without cover.

Cameron found new bulb species, wrote articles for farming journals and 
botanical groups, gave wonderful slide shows, and shared photos he had 
taken. There are so many photos of his on the wiki as he sent me CDs 
taken on his many trips in nature and gave permission to add any I 
wanted to add. And he was willing to provide information as well if ever 
I asked. He was also instrumental in saving a large area of the 
renosterveld in the Overberg.

The loss of him and Rod and Rachel in the same year is a big blow to all 
of us who loved South African bulbs. I'm sure I join many of you in 
mourning his loss.

Mary Sue

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