• Alfred Meebold: Bringing Anthroposophy to the Antipodes

    John Paull (see profile)
    Agriculture--Sociological aspects, New Zealand, History, Sustainability, Sustainable development, Australia, Anthroposophy
    Item Type:
    Biodynamics, Organic farming, history of agriculture, Sociology of agriculture, New Zealand history, Australian history
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    Alfred Meebold (29 September 1863 - 6 January 1952) was born in Heidenheim, Germany, and died in Havelock North, New Zealand, (aged 89 years). He was a keen traveller, a fervent Germanic chauvinist, an ardent botanist, and a forthright proponent of Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy. Alfred Meebold can take some responsibility for the introduction of Anthroposophy and biodynamics to the Antipodes. In 1920, Meebold was in Dornach, Switzerland, at the inauguration of the first Goetheanum. Also present was the Italian/Australian artist, Ernesto Genoni. At the inauguration, Meebold sponsored Ernesto Genoni to join the Anthroposophy Society. In 1928, Meebold visited Western Australia, as a guest of the Genoni brothers, and delivered lectures on Anthroposophy to Australia’s earliest biodynamic farmers. He travelled eastern Australia and to New Zealand. Alfred Meebold was a prolific botanical collector, carefully preserving and noting the date and location of his specimens. In Australia there are 1,539 specimens collected by Meebold recorded in the Australasian Virtual Herbarium, with specimens in 8 different herbaria, and specimens from 14 countries. In New Zealand there are 152 Meebold specimens, collected from 10 countries. Alfred Meebold’s name is honoured in the plant genus Meeboldina (in the family Restionaceae) which is endemic to Western Australia. Several plant species are named for Alfred Meebold including: Geranium meeboldii (Pakistan), Lagenandra meeboldii (India), and Darwinia meeboldii (the Cranbrook bell) which is a shrub endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. Alfred Meebold was perhaps the earliest European Anthroposophist to proselytise in Australasia.
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    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago


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