|Richard Dening was by and large a supremely happy man.
He rarely did anything which he really didn't want to do and spent his life pursuing his
passions and interests. He was therefore also a successful man, living his life the way he
wanted to live it. His passions included natural history in general (most specifically
butterflies), travel, human health, nutrition and squash. He played squash all his life
into his eighties and even after a heart attack!
He was a Life
Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and left behind a considerable collection of
butterflies, moths and dragonflies (75 cases) collected from 42 different countries around
the world. The R.C. Dening Collection, as his collection is now known, has been donated to
Museums in Scotland.
Richard was much better known as Tim and this was the way that he
introduced himself socially. He was born in England in 1920, the son of a career army
officer. He had one brother, John, and two sisters Angela and Fenella. Family connections
led Tim to join the Indian Army during World War II and to serve in India and Burma until
the end of the war. After the war, he joined the Colonial Administrative Service in
Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and was a District Commissioner in Mwinilunga, Mumbwa and
Samfya. He married Elisabeth (Betty) in Northern Rhodesia and had three daughters.
He remained in Zambia after independence, working as an agricultural
economist and later worked as a consultant in the same field, in countries all around the
world. All of Tim's comprehensive papers relating to his career,
first in the colonial administration in Northern Rhodesia and then as an agricultural
economist, have been donated to the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and
African Studies at Rhodes House, in Oxford, England.