Friends, Fellow Falconers,
It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Frank Bond died on Christmas Day following a brave fight against cancer. His passing leaves us all the poorer as he was an implacable champion of Falconry and a great pillar of support for the IAF.
Frank made an enormous contribution to the IAF, first as Vice President for the Americas, then serving six years as our President. In the past year he has been an invaluable support, to myself and to our organization, as General Counsel to the IAF. He was instrumental in driving the development of the Business Plan for the IAF which, when instituted, will transform our organization into a truly effective professional force for the promotion of Falconry and Raptor Conservation. He also broadened the outlook of the IAF, making it a global organization and stimulating the dramatic growth which we have experienced in recent years. Others will speak of his achievements for Falconry in North America and of his contribution as a founder of the Peregrine Fund which is probably the foremost raptor Conservation organization in the world today.
Frank was a giant within our community. He had the charm and easy manner which won over hearts and made friends at every level. He was as comfortable meeting with politicians and Presidents as he was with ordinary falconers in the field. Beneath this, he was a true leader, astute and determined in the defence of our Art. He had the vision to realize the role of the IAF as a leading hunting and conservation global NGO. At the same time, Frank had a distinguished career as a lawyer and remained a sportsman and a practical falconer.
Frank was courageous in the face of his illness. He remained in contact with his friends and was engaged and interested in the work of the IAF to the end. I know that he had great comfort from the support of his family. My thoughts and, I am sure, those of the rest of the global Falconry Community are with Frank’s family and friends at this time. He is as the tree in a forest against which all others are measured.
Frank will live in our memories and in our hearts as we take the work forward and meet the new challenges of the coming year. The finest way to celebrate his memory will be to fly our hawks well and to strive to ensure that we have the freedom to fly them everywhere.
Adrian Lombard, IAF President, December 27th 2013.