It's a true shame, I'm very sad about this after reading his obituary... he has been struggling with his health for the past few years, first the hepatitis, then the cancer. It was just too much at the end I guess.
Past summer he was really sick but he ended recovering, this was when OJD posted those messages about the rumour of his death but I've had the chance to speak with him a few times since then. He was struggling but still doing his thing.
I feel very honored to have had the chance to met him and help him as much as I could with his projects when he tried to set up a company in Spain during his AusCann ventures and tried to recover his genetics. I have gotten plenty inspiration and advice from him several times and despite my insisting questions, he was always patient and willing to share.
He was a humble guy who would reply to anything you could ask him and give you a straight answer, no bullshit stories. He was one of the few breeders I've ever met that was truly transparent with lineages and I'll always have big respect for him because of that. We've been in touch since then and even traded a few seeds. As far as I know Dr Purpur used to be in touch with him too and actually had the chance to grow some of his latest breeding works as the Lemon Mexican hybrids. It's a shame that none of them would ever see the light again.
I remember I've been trying to push him to do an interview for a long time because I really wanted to document some past history and the tons of information he had from the 80's scene from first hand before it was too late. But he never was a big fan of that and get in public I guess, he was still a bit paranoid about that so it never happened. It's a true shame we will never have the chance to know more about him.
Despite his Haze clones were finally sent from Europe to Australia it seems no one ever had the gesture to bring them to him, besides he was living in a small property in the south. It kinda makes me sad, especially since nowadays I keep watching more and more people cashing on the A5 and C5 Hazes when he was never even able to get those back into his hands himself and while he he barely got any recognition during all this years he stayed in the underground. That has been the norm since the 80s too anyway, since the very first Cannabis Cup he won. Now with his death I'm sure it may be even worse since he's no longer around us to speak out the truth.
I truly believe he was a big pioneer of modern Cannabis breeding and seed industry. He noticed the trend would be indoor growing and focused on that, paving the way for any others to follow and use his work as their foundation. Had the balls to do it worldwide before anyone else too.
This are some of his last messages after his latest recovery, unfortunately some of the last words we will ever see from him:
Sorry I/ve been very sick lately. Will chat when I/m stronger
Hi. My health is slowly improving and I want to progress my application for a licence. I need to collect useful strains and cuts and send them to either AU or Canada. I've designed a grow room and the first thing I want to do is make new seeds of the various cultivars I have in my collection.
What are you doing these days and what is the status of Medicinal cannabis in Spain?
He never stop growing or breeding until the very end an despite his health issues, you could see he still had passion for breeding too:
Hi Nevil, how are you?
how is everything man? it's been a long time
is your health going nice so far?
up and down
a lot of it related to root canals
you know how I've wanted to do the L.SK x Oax for a long time
yeah sure man
were you able to find some nice L.SK?
I did the L.SK x Oax and back crossed that to Oax again
sounds like a nice hybrid
The L.SK x Oax is exactly as I expected
It nice when you get it right
indica fruit flavour
nice, how long is the flowering time?
can't tell but early
cool... so are you planning to sell some seeds soon?
no but it's the best I've done in 20 years
it took a lot of work to sort out the oax
I've saw him on Skype a few weeks ago but never came back since then. He wasn't replying lately or eager to chat so I've supposed he was dealing with loads of health issues again.
Rest in Peace Nevil, "the man who tamed the Hazes for the first time".
May you rest in a big field surrounded by the most trippy and exotic plants.