Dr. Vaughan R. Pratt

Dr. Vaughan R. Pratt, Asian Coral Reef Champion, 60, a wildlife veterinarian who pioneered the global effort to preserve the coral reefs of Southeast Asia, passed away January 30th at Aklan Baptist Hospital, Aklan Province, the Republic of the Philippines. He suffered acute myocardial infarction at the Blue Mango Inn, a resort hotel he owned and operated on Boracay Island. At his side was his wife of 37 years, Daliles Dolly Pratt. Mr. Pratt, who earned a degree in veterinary medicine at Araneta University in Manila in 1980, founded and led for twenty years the International Marinelife Alliance (IMA). The nonprofit environmental group was the leading organization dedicated to the preservation of coral reef resources throughout Southeast Asia. At its height, IMA grew to operate in 8 nations and employ 150 people. With Pratt in the lead, IMA often challenged governments and fishing interests head on to protect the thousands of square miles of underwater coral resources in the region. The task of working across multiple countries, with projects funded by a variety of grant sources, would have been a trying time for any experienced global nonprofit manager, yet Pratt was credited by governments and his colleagues alike for his perseverance. Throughout all of the organizational challenges, and the constant need to deal with multiple groups in each country, Vaughan kept his cool, remembers Dr. Peter Rubec, a Co-Founder of IMA. He was a friend to all, from island fishermen to senior national officials. His accomplishments are living on today across the Pacific, said Rubec, now a Research Scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. For the last decade, Dr. Pratt and his wife Dolly operated the Blue Mango at the Southeast Asian destination resort island of Boracay. Vaughan would often be seen on the beach at sunset conversing with guests from all over the world, many of whom would return year after year. In 1983, Dr. Pratt also founded the New England Wildlife Center, Inc. in Hingham, Massachusetts. The Center, now headquartered in Weymouth, is a thriving regional educational and veterinary facility dedicated to caring for and teaching about wildlife throughout the Northeast. Pratt was born and raised in Cohasset, Massachusetts, to where he would frequently return with his family for periods short and long following his enrollment at Araneta in the 1970s. As the President of his beloved Cohasset High School Class of 1972, he most recently presided over the 40th reunion of a class known locally for its continued camaraderie across the decades. Even while 10,000 miles away in Asia, Vaughan was seen as the connector that kept his classmates in touch with their hometown on the South Shore and their memories of growing up. Talking to Vaughan made you realize that the 40 plus years since high school didnt change anything too much, except the realization of how precious those days were. said Class Vice President John Florescu. For family, colleagues, and friends in Asia, a memorial service was held on February 6th celebrating the life of Dr. Pratt at St. Peters Memorial Chapel in Quezon City, Metro Manila. Vaughans life and crusading human spirit will be remembered at a memorial service to be held Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM, at the Second Congregational Church, 43 Highland Avenue, on Cohasset Common, Cohasset, MA 02025. Immediately following the service, the family has invited friends, family and colleagues to a reception in the Churchs Bates Hall. A private interment will be held at Cohassets Woodside Cemetery, Gold Star Mothers section. In addition to his wife, Dolly, Dr. Pratt is survived by his sons, Dustin and his wife Kaye of North Hollywood, California, Justin of North Hollywood, and Adrian of Manila and Boracay, and by grandson Gavin. His parents, Edwin and Eileen Pratt, still reside in Cohasset, as does his older brother Glenn with his wife, Linda. Vaughans sister, Sheralyn Craig, lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Dr. Pratt is also survived by numerous first cousins, nieces and nephews spread across the United States, and an equal number of Dollys cousins in the Philippines and in the United States. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in Vaughans memory be made to the New England Wildlife Center, 500 Columbian Street, South Weymouth, MA 02190. For an online guestbook, please visit www.mcnamara-sparrell.com.

Published in The Patriot Ledger on Feb. 22, 2014