Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born in South Melbourne in 1864, died in Melbourne on 20 September 1950.
Dr. Charles Stanford Sutton, one of the founders of the Australian Forest League and an amateur botanist of considerable distinction, died on September 20, 1950, aged 86 years. In recent years ill health had prevented Dr. Sutton from taking an active part in the proceedings of the Field Naturalists’ Club of Victoria, of which he had been a member almost since its inception, but earlier he was an indefatigable worker for it, and it seemed that no meeting or excursion was complete without him. He was the mainspring of the club’s committee which produced the valuable little Census of the Plants of Victoria with regional distribution and vernacular names.
Born in South Melbourne in 1864, Dr. Sutton graduated from the Melbourne University Medical School and gained some eminence as a gynaecologist. However, as time went on he devoted more and more time to the cause of botany in Victoria, at the expense of the business side of his practice; his principal endeavor was to interest people in the permanent reservation or some of the fine forest areas of the State, and he even enlisted the aid in this cause of Lord Novar when, as Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson, he was Governor of Victoria. For many years he edited The Gum Tree, magazine of the Forest League.
Posterity will remember him by Sutton’s Tarn, at the top of Cradle Mountain (named in his honor by his intimate friend the late Gustav Weindorfer), by the fragrant native orchid Prasophyllum suttonii (named by Rogers and Reeves in 1921), and by a Victorian fossil which also bears his name. His contemporaries will rather recall, however, the slight, spare, grey-haired, neatly-groomed man with deeply bronzed complexion, whose retiring disposition cloaked such deep knowledge and such a friendly spirit.
Extracted from: Wild Life magazine, Nov. 1950 p.519