October 2018 | Chere Kenyon
WELL-KNOWN AND loved beekeeper, Ian Stephens of Mole Creek, passed away on the 28th August, after having achieved his life goal. It was not his family business, R Stephens Apiarists Pty Ltd, though it is a renowned honey business in Tasmania.
Neither was it his community service, though he participated in the Mole Creek Progress Association for many years and helped turn the town from overgrown blackberries to the tidy town it is today. To Ian Stephens, his greatest achievement was his family.
“The best thing we ever did was to produce a ﬁne family of four children,” said Shirley, Ian’s wife. Ian’s parents taught him to be independent and to get on with life and Ian passed this will to work hard to his own children. Ian continued his father’s work in breeding a good line of queen bees, developed the market that exists for the business to this day, and succeeded in making the name ‘Leatherwood’ well-known.
“Ian believed that everybody should be able to put a jar of honey on the table at a reasonable price,” said Shirley. Shirley and Ian were married for 60 years. “We’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve been overseas, travelled and made a lot of friends in the beekeeping world. I think the name will live on and I believe he’s left behind something to be proud of,” added Shirley.
A small service was held for Ian on the 30th August attended by family and close friends followed a few days later by a memorial service attended by 180 people. His ashes will stay in Mole Creek according to his wishes.