I am in receipt of your missive of the 26th last, concerning the planned eulogy for our late bird watching colleague, Chippendale, and I must state I find your request therein most un-Christian indeed.
I have heard tales concerning the committee on which you serve, The Albion Rare Sightings Official Logistical Survey, as being one prone to tarnish and sully the reputations of those that do not hold your authority on the matter as a final, but Chippendale was certainly not one. I am aware he provided you with all necessary paperwork.
For you to now write and declare I should not mention his American Baldpate on Potters Fleet from 40 years hence during the service, as you have now reviewed and rejected the record, is extremely distasteful. It is almost as if you have already secretly reviewed tomes held upon individuals that simply await their passing 'ere publication, at which time you seek to bury the record with the observer. I cannot understand how a committee that claims to be scientific in its work can allow a claim to stand whilst the observer breathes, but then decide it to be untrue when the poor man is cold. As someone invited to enjoy views of his Giant Yellowshank on Potters Lagoon during its lengthy sojourn I suspect this bird too will fall from grace once I depart?Your motto of ‘What’s seen by us, gains admittal, what’s unseen by us, gains dismissal’ is most distasteful, and I shall certainly mention not only this wondrous sighting under question, but also his Gull-billed Tern at Cackitt Creek and his Dusky Thrush from the deck of the Coast Guard Vessel No. 12 moored offshore from there.
Be aware I have also written to your chairman, Mr. Blatter, to let him know my feelings on this matter. Chippendale's records will be mentioned in the service, I can assure you, immediately after we all join in that favourite birdwatchers' hymn, 'All strings bright and beautiful'. His Anas, mounted by Bristow, will also be proudly displayed.