By Ted Coletti
Harro Hieronimus, President of the German Livebearer Society, recalls that “Ivan had a great influence on the German hobby. He always brought new species and gave them away.”
Well-known French hobbyist, Alain Grioche, also remembers Ivan’s generosity when he visited a British Livebearer Association (BLA) auction. He went home with two large bags of fish. “I was quite surprised, as it was the first time I contacted him,” said Alain. “He then never forgot to send me a Christmas card every year.”
Through Don Kenwood, Ivan met Dr. Joanne Norton, the famed aquarist who founded the American Livebearer Association (ALA). He later traveled to attend ALA conventions and became fast friends with ALA Fellow Bob Cashin. Another ALA Fellow, Jim Langhammer, remembers Ivan as “the consummate host and guest, generous almost to a fault.”
The image of Ivan holding court at ALA conventions is fondly remembered by Fellow Rich Serva. “Ivan would sit there with bags of fish about him and people placing their orders, writing their wants down on his notepad while sending fish off to the left or right. He was like a trader on the floor of the Dow, and he had what everyone wanted!”
I first met Ivan in person at the 2006 ALA Convention after conversing with him via email for several years. The memory of myself and fellow ALA member Bill Allen playing guitars while Ivan sang along with us is one I now cherish.
UK aquarist and author Dick Mills says of Ivan: “He never lost his willingness to help out whether it was giving out practical information, writing highly informative and entertaining articles, or sharing livestock.”
How You Can Help with Fish Ark
Hobbyists can make a donation to HALCP as a tribute to Ivan Dibble. Make all contributions payable to “Hobbyists Aqualab Conservation Project (Mexico). In the US, send your donations (in US dollars) to HALCP c/o Bob Cashin, 3012 McKee Road, Erie, PA. For the rest of the world, send them in pounds sterling to HALCP c/o Don Kenwood, 154 Kenn Road, Clevedon, North Somerset, BS21 6JY.