Miranda Harris, co-founder of Algarve environmentalist group, dies in accident in South Africa
Miranda Harris, who in 1983 co-founded, with her husband Peter Harris, the research centre that later gave birth to the environmental association A Rocha, based in Quinta da Rocha, near Ria de Alvor, died Monday the 28th of October in a tragic car accident in Port Elisabeth, South Africa.
Peter Harris was also seriously injured, and there were two other fatalities, Chris Naylor, CEO of A Rocha International, and his wife Susana.
Those responsible for A Rocha Portugal reveal in a post posted on their Facebook page that “Peter and the driver of the car are being treated at a local hospital and are stable. “
Mr. and Mrs. Harris lived in Cruzinha, Ria de Alvor, for a decade with their four children, who attended the local public school. It is here that they set up their centre for environmental studies inspired by the principles of their Christian faith and the need to take care of “all of God’s creatures.”
Here the couple received researchers of various nationalities, especially from British and Portuguese universities, who studied in depth the fauna, flora, and geology of that important Algarve wetland, as well as other areas of great ecological importance in the Algarve.
In 1995, with the Portuguese project established and under stable management, the international A Rocha foundation was formed to respond to requests from various parts of the world, decided to expanding the couple’s original concept.
Peter and Miranda Harris were then tasked with the mission of establishing and running research centres in France, Kenya, Lebanon, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The story of Cruzinha and A Rocha was expanded on in two books written by Mr. Harris: Under the Bright Wings (Regent College Publishing, 2000), and Kingfisher’s Fire (Monarch, 2008).
With the death of Miranda Harris, it is the end of an era for the A Rocha Foundation. “This is a profound shock for the entire A Rocha family and the many others who have come to know them around the world. A Rocha owes an eternal debt to the Harris couple, as they were the co-founders of A Rocha’s work when it began in Portugal”, said an insider.