To Cecily Niven
The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund dedicate this Sixth Edition of Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa to the memory of the late Cecily Niven, D.Sc (honoris causa) (Cape Town), in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the ornithology of southern Africa. Cecily Niven, the daughter of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, was born in London on 10 November 1899 and died at her home, "Amanzi", near Uitenhage in the eastern Cape on 31 May 1992. She joined the South (later Southern) African Ornithological Society in 1935 and served two terms as the Society's President. She became a Trustee of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, resigning in 1987 in the belief that she chould be replaced by a younger person.
Cecily Niven's interest in professional ornithology led to the establishment of the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, funded initially by the Percy Fitzpatrick Memorial Trust. A further brainchild of hers was the Pan-African Ornithological Congress, which has become a more or less regular event, starting in Livingstone (Zambia) in 1957; the most recent (8th) Pan-African Ornithological Congress was held in October 1992 in Bujumbura (Burundi). It is a pleasure for us to honour Cecily Niven by dedicating this edition of Roberts to her memory.