Remembering Neville Strachan
19 November, 1925 – 13 April, 2015
Jean & Neville Strachan
With the passing of Neville D. Strachan, B.E., M.A., on the 13th of April 2015, the QFA Inc. lost our last remaining foundation member. Born on the 19th of November 1925 in Brisbane, Neville spent his working life as an electrical engineer. He had a great love of classical music, playing the piano every day until arthritis in his fingers made it impossible to continue. Books were another of his great passions and with every visit to his home I and other astrologers were shown his vast collection of books on a variety of subjects including Astrology.
Neville took his study of astrology very seriously and his astrological accomplishments were numerous. He studied traditional astrology with Alan Johnson, received the Diploma of Cosmobiology from Doris Grieves, and became the first person in Australia to receive a Q.H.P. Horary degree from Olivia Barclay. He was also a prolific researcher and writer, with many of his articles published Australia wide as well as in a number of overseas publications.
In 1992 and before we became an affiliated association, the QFA committee began searching for an Editor to produce a Branch newsletter. Before I knew it I was nominated, but to sweeten the deal Neville promised me he would write an article for every newsletter, a promise he kept for nearly 20 years. He also suggested Acrux as the name for our newsletter because this star is the brightest in the Southern Cross constellation, is conjunct the MH of our foundation chart and conjunct the planet Jupiter in the chart of our founder Roy Owen. Neville recalls meeting Alan Johnston in 1973 or 1974 when there was some talk of starting a local astrology group in Brisbane. However nothing came of this until Roy Owen advertised for those interested in studying astrology and also to form a Qld Branch of the FAA to attend a meeting on July 5th 1976. Neville attended this first meeting and remained an active member of the QFA or over 30 years. He took on the role of Treasurer for 7 years before becoming Vice President in 1989, a position he held until he retired from the committee in 1998.
He served on the National Council from 1984-86, was awarded a FAA Fellow in 1997, and became the first Honorary Life member of the QFA. Neville was a wonderful mentor to the many young astrologers that found their way to QFA meetings, something I remain very grateful for.
Horary astrology was always his favourite and whenever I had a problem to solve or a decision to make Neville would erect a chart and ring me with the correct answer. It seems like only yesterday when Neville tapped me on the shoulder around 1988 and asked if I would join the QFA committee. He presented his first FAA conference lecture in 1998 and also elected the charts of the opening ceremony for both the 1998 and 2010 Queensland conferences.
A quiet achiever who worked diligently behind the scenes, Neville spent many hours researching, writing, ringing and interviewing astrologers both in Australia and overseas to assist his efforts in compiling the history of the QFA. In 1996 he delivered the first Roy Owen Memorial lecture The History of the Queensland Federation of Astrologers Inc. from 1976 -1996. This annual lecture is held to honour our Foundation President Roy Owen. Subsequently Neville’s research became the basis for the Booklet containing the QFA history that was provided free to every delegate who attended the 1998 Qld conference. Neville continued to update our history until 2008 when he handed the task over to me.
The QFA may be the only astrological association in Australia that has such a wonderful comprehensive history and for that we are forever in Neville’s debt.
Neville and his wife Jean were very valuable members of the QFA and were greatly missed when ill health forced them both to miss meetings.
In the last few weeks of his life Neville told his daughter Professor Glenda Strachan that he had lived life as he wanted.