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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 12:22 GMT
Tory candidate on marbles mission
Stanley Johnson
Stanley Johnson: Environmental campaigner
The Conservative candidate for Teignbridge in Devon, Stanley Johnson, is hauling 10kg of marbles on an environmental mission to the Amazon.

Mr Johnson, 64, father of Tory MP Boris, was invited to meet the Yawanawa tribe in eastern Brazil by the charity Rainforest Concern.

The marbles were an idea of his after a visit to marble manufacturer House of Marbles in Devon.

The environmental campaigner has taken them as a gift for children.

Mr Johnson has spent most of his life working on international environmental issues, as an MEP in the European parliament and for the UN.

The marbles seemed a much better idea than biros
William Bavin, House of Marbles
Earlier this year he went to the Eastern Congo in search of mountain gorillas for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund of which he is a patron.

He is now on a mission to help raise awareness of Rainforest Concern's work to preserve the Yawanawa language and culture, to improve their water supply and protect their land.

William Bavin, chairman of the House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey, told BBC News: "Stanley was thinking of gifts to give the children when he visited us.

"The marbles seemed a much better idea than biros.

"The beauty of marbles is that they light up a child's face anywhere in the world, so he took a great pile of our shiniest marbles to give to the children."

He added: "I hope they are a success. Marbles have brought pleasure to children for thousands of years and every child can make a game out of them.

"I have an idea Stanley will be down on his knees joining in."

Mr Johnson, who has thrown his support behind his embattled son, is expected to return from his journey on Saturday.

'Noah's Ark' forest clings on in Brazil
01 Oct 04 |  Science/Nature


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