Therapist, environmentalist and author of international acclaim
BODO J BAGINSKI: AN INTERNATIONAL authority on alternative and holistic therapies, Bodo Baginski, who has died aged 60, had more than 20 books to his name.
Baginski however was best known in west Cork for his role as an environmental campaigner in the battle against pollution in Bantry Bay.
Originally from Germany, he had moved some 22 years ago to Ireland and lived with his partner Ute and two young daughters,Yara and Sina, at Ardnatrush, an idyllic spot near Glengarriff with magnificent views of the bay.
He died in a lawnmower accident while looking after the nearby garden of his best friend who was in Germany at the time.
Baginski was mowing the grass on an incline when the ride-on machine overturned, killing him instantly.
In an internet tribute recalling the side of his life for which he is best known internationally, Susy Cremers said: “Bodo has left the planet at the time of the very significant Venus transit on the very same day.
“Perhaps he will continue his work on the other side.”
A physiotherapist and chartered massage therapist, he wrote or co-wrote more than 20 books on a wide range of alternative and holistic therapies, including theories of universal life energy and healing as well as cosmo-biological birth control.
They have been translated into 20 languages, including English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Hindi, Japanese, and Korean.
Among his publications, the Chakra Handbook and Reiki: Universal Life Energy is rated highly by fellow practitioners and became a bestseller on reiki, a system that involves the application of hand positions as the key to treating oneself or others.
He was also involved in the production of Chakra Meditation Music, a set of lush melodies designed to tap into the chakras or energy centres of the body.
Baginski was quietly spoken, reserved and well-liked in the tightly knit community around Bantry Bay, where he was admired for his passionate approach to reversing the deteriorating state of the shoreline in a long-running local campaign to keep its beaches clean.
Although he enjoyed an international reputation as an expert on alternative therapies, he was best known locally for his tireless campaigning work.
This included a key role in the Save Bantry Bay committee which is currently combating plans for a new intensive mussel farm in the sheltered waters of the bay.
An integral part of his crusade strategy was to draw the attention of the authorities to the worst litter hotspots around the shoreline, urging them to tackle the eyesore of pollution in the heart of one of west Cork’s major tourism centres.
Baginski’s website records, for instance, that in the 2010 shoreline spring-clean, he was the residents’ co-ordinator on a stretch of coastline from White Cairn to Ardnagashel House and from Abbey Point to South Beach, an area where he named Bantry Harbour Mussels Ltd/Southward Ltd as stakeholders.
Given his environmental role, it was not surprising that his tragic death was marked by heartfelt tributes, reflecting how much he was valued by the community.
For example, local urban and county councillor Mary Hegarty described him as “quiet, private and a really nice person.
“The family are very well liked,” Hegarty said. “Bodo had been living here for a long time and was part of the community. It is very sad, it’s tragic.
In similar vein, Alex O’Donovan, secretary of the Bantry Salmon and Trout Club, said Baginski was “very committed to the local community and played a huge role in motivating people in the area to keep the shoreline clean for both residents and tourists”.
The spokesman of Friends of the Environment, Tony Lowes, observed that “he was the kind of person who, with very few words, could inspire people to make the world a better place.
“He was an inspiration to everyone who knew him.”
He is survived by his partner Ute, daughters Miriam, Yara and Sina, and son Ramilan.
Bodo J Baginski: born April 10th, 1952; died June 5th, 2012.