9 April 2020
Former St Mary’s member of staff Mrs Lyn Pendle recently launched her debut book ‘George Saves the Rainforest’, a children’s picture book about an orangutan named George who discovers that his beloved rainforest is being destroyed.
Lyn Pendle has a passion for orangutans and travelling. After retiring from teaching Home Economics and Food, following a longstanding career of 30 years at St Mary’s, she decided to have a gap experience and went to Sarawak to work with Project Borneo. Each spring for the last five years, she has experienced firsthand the range of animals affected by the loss of their rainforest habitat. Working alongside fellow volunteers from around the world, aged 18 to 70 at Matang Wildlife Centre, she helped many endangered species from orangutans to sun bears, binturongs, slow loris, Borneo gibbons, macaque monkeys and hornbills. All the animals have either been rescued or confiscated from the tourist industry, pet trade, private individuals or found injured and brought in for treatment.
On returning home, she decided to write a fun story to engage with younger readers; so they could understand the problems of deforestation and the effect it has on wildlife. Any profits from sales of ‘George Saves the Rainforest’ will go directly to Project Borneo to ensure the animals in their care are fed and the hardworking local staff are paid. This is particularly important as the volunteer scheme has been cancelled for the foreseeable future due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Project Borneo is a Malaysian conservation organisation and UK-based charity, and is a development of Project Orangutan, started by founder and CEO Leo Biddle from Suffolk in 2006. Leo has more than 25 years of experience working in the conservation sector in the developing world and is one of the pioneers of truly ethical wildlife tourism.
Lyn Pendle worked at St Mary’s Senior School from 1982 to 2012, teaching Home Economics and Food which she always thought of as more of a life skill than a GCSE subject. Lyn remarked: “I loved my time at St Mary’s, and have very fond memories of the staff, students and various trips I was involved with.”
See www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyYkSBDiUjY for a trailer of ‘George Saves the Rainforest’. Hardback and paperback copies of the book can be purchased from the publisher, Austin Macauley: www.austinmacauley.com/book/george-saves-rainforest
Once the pupils return, Lyn is looking forward to visiting St Mary’s Lower School to offer a book signing.