A personal recollection by Ronnie Viane
In September 1986 we went to northern Spain to prepare the fern excursion for the 1987 Berlin Botanical Conference (left, with Prof. Mathias Mayor López (Oviedo University). A year later, we returned with a group of about thirty, half of them Spanish: a great opportunity to establish international contacts, one of Clive’s favorite activities. The Spring of 1988 saw us exploring the Iberian peninsula and southern France for Isoetes. During the trip we went as far as Andalucia, visiting Betty Allen, and linked up with several local botanists, e.g. Carmen Prada (right).
In 1991, we did a long trip to Scotland with Ilka Kukkonen, first joining the BPS excursion to Skye (left), followed by visits to Inverewe Botanical Garden, Aviemore for Diphasiastrum, and climbing Ben Alder for Athyrium ‘flexile’. Inevitably, at Ben More we had a Carex stop, compensated by a trip down eastern Kintyre for Dryopteris x sarvelae (where we surprised Hugh Corley …).
Several continental pteridologists had been over to the BM for Clive’s advice, they had often expressed their need for more regular updates about the latest fern news and developments in Europe. Gradually the concept of organizing annual meetings in European fern hotspots developed and led to the first ‘international’ meeting in September 1992. At the “Champ du feu” in the Vosges mountains, where Claude Jérôme had discovered interesting populations of Diphasiastrum species, pteridologists from 6 different countries had their first GEP (Group of European Pteridologists) meeting. After the excursion, on September 2nd, a small delegation visited Tadeus Reichstein in Basel (right, from left to right: Michel Boudrie, Clive Jermy, Tadeus Reichstein, Ronnie Viane, Ilka Kukkonen). A week later we were off to the Azores …
During his active career Clive never visited China though he had good contacts with leading pteridologists. I only had to ask him once, in 1997, to join me and Bert Hennipman (left) on a trip to Sichuan and the borderland with Tibet, a great experience thanks to our Chinese colleague Xian-Chun Zhang.
I am fortunate that he became a friend, impossible to forget him!