Species Orchid Society of

Western Australia (Inc)


Members of Note

Our Newest Life Members & Quiet Achievers


Our 2018 Quiet Achiever - Paul

Firstly, an apology to Paul that this has taken me so long to get this done.

Our 2018 Quiet Achiever, Paul joined the Species Society after the Australian Orchid Conference held at Burswood in 2012. In fact, as I recall, Paul and Andrea were recruited by Adrian who along with Mich did a great job selling the benefits of Species Society membership at that event.










Both Paul and Andrea quickly showed their preparedness to get involved in the life of our society. Coincidentally, I knew Andrea from past employment in the same WA government agency many years earlier. Paul joined the Committee in May 2014, agreed to nominate for the position of Vice-President, in May 2016 and was elected President in May 2018.
Paul has been a committee member for several years, and he has the ability to see any job that needs to be done and getting it done without any fuss. He has been actively involved with some of our invaluable "can do" members including Adrian, Charly, Chris and Mich for several years in planning, constructing and erecting and removing our displays. This was no more evident than his contribution to the amazing display that the sub-committee designed and constructed for the recent Inter Society Orchid Display and Workshop.
Paul has the ability to work well with others, to think creatively outside the box and, most importantly, to make things happen by leading from the front. In the past four years, Paul has put his mark on much of what we have done to promote our interest in species orchids to the general public. We rely on his organisational and technical/electrical skills in many ways. Paul is one of those rare people always ready to help others whenever and wherever it is needed.
Thanks Paul for being a quiet achiever, and Andrea for supporting him to do so.


Our 2016 Quiet Achievers-Tom & Pat

Tom & Pat joined the Species Society in 2004, and immediately got involved in the society's activities. Pat has for many years been our auditor and successive treasurers, Sandra and Charly have enjoyed working with her to produce the audited annual financial report. While Pat sets high standards for them to follow, her business experience helps her understand that we don't live in a perfect world and from time, financial transactions that occur in the life of a group such as our orchid society may not be clear as would be required for a commercial business. When necessary, Pat advises on appropriate wording for explanations to members.

Tom is always ready to apply his skills as an auctioneer to extract money from our members when we auction plants in flower at our meetings. He does this with humour and often convinces members to bid that extra dollar. In fact, he has managed to persuade members who have downsized their orchid collections to bid on, and win the bid on plants. Tom has been auctioneer for many member's auctions, and most often obtains prices for plants well beyond what the owner expected. His participation in this service offered by the Society has enabled several aging members forced to downsize through ill-health or inability to care for their orchids to receive fair value for their collection, and has allowed other members to acquire plants that might otherwise have died or passed to others who did not know or appreciate the history of the particular orchids.

Tom and Pat have also participated in several trips arranged by Tony and Mavis and the photo above is from one of those trips. Tom's experience in Asian business has often proved valuable. Both Tom and Pat made it to treetop walk at Poring Hot Springs in Sabah, a climb that taxed many of us younger members. This was a clear demonstration of their commitment and "can do" approach to life and it is with considerable pleasure that members of the Species Society recognised their contribution to us with this award.


2015 Quiet Achiever - Margaret

Marg, our 2015 Quiet Achiever comes from the same mould as two previous recipients. She too is someone who never fails to put her hand up to help out whenever needed.

Marg and Graham joined the Society in November 1994, and have been active members ever since. Her skills have been put to use in many ways in helping the Society pursue its objectives of encouraging the culture and propagation of species orchids. Marg and Mich were jointly responsible for planning and designing the Society's display for the 19th Australian Orchid Conference held in Perth in 2012. This display highlighted WA terrestrial orchids and included many of the photos from the late Ron Heberle collection. Marg spent many hours scanning/copying Ron's photos to Mich's exacting standards, and then helping assemble the final display. In fact, while she, Judith and Mich were working on the display, Graham who was out rescuing terrestrial orchids had a stroke and was taken to hospital. Marg first learned of this when she got home after 6pm to be told that he was in hospital!

Marg is always one of the first to offer to help out, whether it be making arrangements for the Christmas party including purchasing food and refreshments, with Ian Bailey providing tea and coffee after our meetings, assisting Graham rescuing and replanting species orchids (including those rescued and replanted at Fiona Stanley Hospital), and being a generous and charming host at home visits.

Marg regularly assists with members' auctions conducted by the Society, often taking responsibility for collecting money from purchasers. Her organisational skills and attention to detail make it so much simpler for the other members involved. Marg is also interested in bonsai and has an active role in the Bonsai Workshop (Inc). Marg's bonsai plants compete for space in their garden with their exotic and terrestrial orchids and other plants.
We are truly fortunate to have members like Margaret who give so much to the society and its members and it is pleasure to recognise her contribution in this way.


2015 Life Member - Maxine

Maxine and her late husband, John joined the Species Orchid Society at the AGM in May 1993. At the time, they lived on a large block in East Cannington that provided plenty of room for orchid hothouses and shadehouses. Both were members of several orchid societies and were members of the judging panel.


In the fine tradition of "if you need job done, give it to a busy person as they will find time to do it", At the AGM in May 1999, Maxine was elected Vice President for two years, and then as President in May 2000 serving two years to May 2002. Maxine served another term as President from May 2008 to May 2010 following which she was elected and served as Secretary for four years until May 2014. Maxine also served as our Librarian between her two terms as President.

Following her recent appointment as Registrar of the Ochid Judging Panel of WA and the responsibilities that this position entails, Maxine has still found time to continue to serve as a committee member. Following John's passing in 2002, Maxine moved to a new home in Parkerville in 2003 on acreage that she shares with her daughter and son-in-law and their children where she built new orchid houses, and where she regularly hosts Species Society committee meetings and home visits.

Maxine and John were dedicated orchid growers, and active show competitors and judges and won many awards for their hybrids, and later, for their well-grown species plants. I remember seeing many ribbons and award certificates on display at their home during home visits. For example, Maxine's Aerangis citrata 'Michelle' was awarded an AM (81.2 points) by the Australian Orchid Council in 2008.

Maxine has always been willing to grow on orchids for the Society's members, and given her skills, often takes those that are known to be more difficult to grow such as Bulbophyllum species. Her skills in this area are no better demonstrated than when she brings beautifully flowering, hard to grow species to monthly meetings and to displays. In this context, Maxine grows several South American species that almost no-one else in the society tackles as they are known to be hard to grow and shy to flower, but she often succeeds where others fail. Maxine's commitment to understanding and growing orchids, and to encouraging and assisting new growers is one of her strengths that has been of benefit to members of the Species Society and other general orchid societies, and the award of life membership is mark of respect for what she has done for us over the past twenty two years.


2015 Life Member - Ken

The Species Orchid Society has been Ken's passion since it formed in 1988. Prior to his involvement in the Species Society Ken was on the Northern Districts Orchid Society committee and its President in 1991 when the AOC was held in Perth.

Ken & Chris started growing orchids in the early 80's after travelling to Singapore, seeing tropical hybrid and species orchids growing with apparent ease and meeting members of the Orchid Society of South East Asia. They soon found out that it wasn't so easy in Western Australia.

While the lessons learned were tough and many orchids went to 'orchid heaven', being an avid collector of 'things' and pursuing somewhat expensive hobbies, Ken was well and truly hooked. While he and Chris started out as many others do growing Cymbidiums, pretty soon a shadehouse was constructed, followed by a glasshouse and then a second glasshouse. Although on a steep learning curve, Ken & Chris started to have some success and gradually become more competent at growing tropical and sub-tropical hybrids, and over time, exotic species.

In March 1990, Ken & Chris moved to their present home in Henley Brook, and while the orchid collection suffered for some months (during the first winter many of the exotic orchids in their collection lived on the floor in the family room), until a large tunnel house was erected and the plants were moved into more suitable accommodation. Over the years, the tunnel house was replaced by a heated glasshouse (disassembled and moved from their previous Morley home) and large shadehouse.

During the 90's, Ken & Chris travelled to Asia and rather than pay the quarantine fees charged, by the WA Department of Agriculture, Ken applied for and was granted a licence to construct a quarantine glasshouse. Since 1996, this facility has been used by members of the Species Society and others to import orchids from mainland and island Asia, India, South America and Madagascar.

Ken Joined the Species Orchid Society committee in the early 90's and has been a member since, serving three terms as President and since the mid 90's, as Newsletter Editor. Writing articles on interesting orchids has provided intellectual stimulation for many years, even more so since Ken retired in 2012. Ken was a member of the 19th AOC committee and was responsible for assisting international and interstate vendors to bring flasks and plants into WA for sale, registrants to bring cut flowers for display; and conference registrants to obtain the documentation required to export plants and flasks. Ken was also a member of a committee established to develop the unsuccessful bid for the 2020 World Orchid Conference. Ken is presently working with Bruce and Tony planning a major orchid event for WA in 2017.


Tony and Mavis
- Life Members

Tony and Mavis are long-time members of the Society, and from the time they joined, have been active members involved in our accomplishments. It is said that behind every successful man, there is a strong and capable woman.
Mavis is this woman, and in recent years, among the many other things that she does for us, has taken on the role of coordinating our much enjoyed home visit program. Committee and members generally have benefited from her skills in persuading members to open their homes to provide fellowship to others, and encourage learning through observing how others go about growing their species orchids. Mavis was also an integral member of the 19th AOC Conference as Volunteer Coordinator, and was the Secretary of the 2008 WAOS Conference and Seniors Coordinator for the 2005 WAOS Conference Committee. Many visitors and Registrants to both these conferences will remember Mavis's smiling face, as she was the "Go To" person who was available to sort out any problems that arose. She has also served as secretary to the West Australian Regional Orchid Organisation (WAROO) .

Tony started the Society's first web site which later incorporated the monthly 'on line' newsletter. Tony is our web master, and has been responsible for bringing to fruition an idea that now sees the Society's website as the repository for Ron Heberle's incredible terrestrial orchid photo collection. As he has throughout his life, Tony taught himself the skills required to design, build and maintain this facility that is the envy of other societies.
Mavis & Tony joined the Species Orchid Society of WA in the mid 1990's and less than a year later, Tony took on his first, two year term as president. This began a very steep learning curve as neither of them had served on a committee before this. Tony subsequently took over the presidency when Reg Allison died before serving another two year term. Since then, Tony has taken on many different roles in our society. Tony has twice served as President, and he and Mavis have been Committee members since 1996. Tony and Mavis are also active in other societies; Tony as President of the Wanneroo Orchid Society for many years and Mavis as a committee member. They have jointly organised several successful tours for orchid growers to see orchids in Southeast Asia, including a trip to the 17th WOC in Malaysia and the 20th WOC in Singapore in 2011. Tony is also the author of articles on some of the unique Western Australian terrestrial orchids that have been published in local and international magazines, and on our website.
Tony was responsible for the outstanding 19th AOC Conference Lecture Program, and the programs at the 2005 & 2008 WAOS Conferences. The success of each of these Conferences was due in no small part to the quality of the international and Australian presenters that were persuaded to come to Perth. Tony also served as Chairperson of WAROO for two terms and is a member of the Australian Orchid Foundation. As if this isn't enough 'orchid stuff', he is concluding the last year of a 4.5 year course to become a qualified AOC orchid judge. He is currently a member of a three person team endeavouring to bring the World Orchid Conference to Perth in 2020.
In between all of these commitments, Tony and Mavis find time to devote to the heart of their interest, growing orchids. They are successful show exhibitors and always have species orchids on our display benches, often growing in unusual containers. At some point, Tony began to take pictures of orchids at the Society meetings and added them to the newsletter. Several cameras later, he continues this progression in attempting to improve picture quality. Thank you both for your outstanding contribution to the Species Orchid Society.


- Life Member

Trevor is one of those people who quietly get things done. Trevor served as our President some years back, and was a long term Committee member until standing down a few years ago for personal health reasons and to devote more time to the care of his wife Anne who is ill. We have missed his attendance at our general meeting and home visits over the last few months.
This aspect of Trevor's character is behind his commitment to supporting members who are unwell and to this end, for many years he been has been the person that keeps in touch with members that we haven't seen for a while, often because they are unwell, or unable to attend meetings. Trevor was also the person who reliably picked up the keys to our meeting venue and returned them after our meeting concluded, and is always willing to help out at events. He and Ian Bailey have been outstanding volunteers on the Society's behalf at the WAOS and 19th AOC events and it is their efforts that in large measure were the reason that the Society enjoyed a substantial financial benefit in recognition of the hours of volunteer support provided by Species Society members.
Trevor is also an active member of ANOS, and of the Amalgamated Prospectors and Leaseholder's Association of WA, his other passion. While we miss Trevor's participation in our monthly meetings and home visits, at least he is no longer winning the raffle or name badge prize giving others of us a chance! Trevor in his own unique way has made a valuable contribution to our society and we are pleased to recognise him in this way.

Vale Trevor Pratt

Our Life Member and Past President Trevor Pratt died on Sunday 14 March 2019. Trevor was born in Edmonton, UK in May 1931, and grew up with his mother and a younger brother in Southend. Trevor joined the Species Orchid Society in 1998, and for many years shared his considerable skills and interests between us and the Amalgamated Prospectors and Leaseholder's Association of WA. While he did say when he joined the Committee that his primary commitment was to the Association, he never failed to be one of the members helping out at our events. Trevor was our President in 2006 and 2008, and was most appropriately made a Life Member in 2014 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Society.

Trevor was one of those people who quietly got things done. A long-time committee member until standing down for personal health reasons and to be the fulltime carer for his wife Anne who was seriously ill, Trevor's character was no better exemplified than a commitment to support members who were unwell or recovering from serious illness, and for many years was the person who kept us in touch with members unable to attend meetings.

In his previous life, Trevor spent time as a national serviceman in Malaya and Singapore after escaping the boredom of an apprenticeship to a London accounting firm. Trevor revelled in the sights and sounds of a new world. On returning to the UK at the end of his national service, Trevor accepted a job as a policeman in Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau uprising. Some of his experiences would have broken a lesser man. After working on the docks in Mombassa, Trevor returned to UK where he met Anne.
At the celebration of his life, his daughter Amanda told us that after returning to Nigeria to work in 1964, he was again forced to flee Entebbe, Uganda by plane in 1965. Apparently the pilot of a light plane misjudged the crosswind and the plane flipped on the runway before take-off. Trevor and his friends traded the damaged aircraft for a VW Combi van. She then said that while Trevor suffered a broken ankle in the plane crash, it did not stop him walking 70 miles further north across the desert when the VW Combi died. Eventually, they made it to Egypt. Rumours about smuggled diamonds and a week in prison exist, however Trevor eventually got to Rome, was identified as a "Distressed British Subject", and given £10 pounds worth of stamps in his passport to get back home to England.
In 1966, Trevor migrated to WA. He was married to Anne in Victoria Park soon after by enlightened Anglican Archbishop who agreed to preside over a mixed religion marriage. Trevor had converted to Islam some years earlier while in Africa.

Trevor brought to WA the vast experience gained through an often challenging worklife. While Trevor freely admitted that his orchid knowledge was less than some members, his gentle, caring and inclusive approach to people was the model for his life and time with us. Trevor and Ian B became close friends, and until his illness progressed to the extent that he was no longer able attend meetings, Trevor provided transport for Ian to all of our events. The two of them were a formidable team, and most capably represented us at many orchid events in which the Society participated. Their friendly faces, helpful nature and open willingness to talk to everyone were on display at the WA Orchid Spectacular in 2005 and 2008, and the Australian Orchid Conference in 2012. Trevor and Anne came on one of the many trips to Thailand arranged by Tony and Mavis and were enthusiastic members of our travelling group. Trevor approached the task of being Anne's carer until her death some years ago with the commitment, compassion and unstinting service that we had observed in his commitment to all the causes and activities in which he revelled during his extraordinary life.
Farewell Trevor. Both you and Anne are sorely missed by your family and a wide and incredibly diverse circle of friends who enjoyed your humour, affection, eclectic interests and tastes, passion for learning and enjoyment of robust debate.


Chris -
Quiet Achiever

While our 2013 Quiet Achiever, Ian set the standard, in 2014, Chris has raised the bar a little higher. The Quiet Achiever award recognises a member who quietly, without fuss, gets things done.

Chris does all of these things, and as Graham said when presenting the award, Chris has been his right hand person over the past few years, always there when something needs to be done. The photo shows Chris in a very typical situation - cooking the barbeque at a home visit.
When we needed someone to transport materials for the 19th AOC display, Chris was there to do the work including the artificial turf, dead trees and helping me pick up thousands of flasks and move them to the venue. More recently, while Chris was helping Gordon look after his orchids when Gordon was incapacitated, Gordon decided that it was time to divest his collection. Chris immediately offered to help and with Graham Bowden supported by members, arranged a very successful auction, conducted by our ever enthusiastic auctioneer, Tom. However, it didn't finish there as Gordon sold his glasshouse to another member and Chris and Graham offered to coordinate its removal and re-erection. This task, like others that Chris takes on for the Society was completed without fuss and the new owner is delighted.
When there are jobs that need to be done, Chris is one of the first people to put his hand up to help. This character is evident from his involvement in the Wanneroo-Joondalup Orchid Society. Chris is also completing the course with Tony and others to become an AOC judge. Chris also grows some great orchids and regularly accompanies Graham on trips viewing and rescuing WA terrestrial orchids, and was involved in the rescue and replanting of orchids at the Fiona Stanley Hospital.


Barry - Life Member

Barry & Lesley joined the Species Orchid Society of WA in October1995, and Barry was elected Vice President in May 1997 and President in May 1999. After serving for a year, Barry stood down as President as he was still finding it difficult to get used to being in a wheelchair. He was then elected Vice President in 2000. Both he and Lesley served on the committee for several years, Barry bought to the Society a wealth of knowledge about growing orchids, with his particular love of species orchids - a few genera that I remember are Aerangis, Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium and special species including Aerangis luteo-alba, Cuitzlauzina pendula, Paphiopedilum roebellenii, Phragmipedium schlimii and Plectralmenthis caudatus. Barry has an eclectic approach to tropical plants and their former home was a virtual tropical garden filled with rare and unusual palms, cycads, anthuriums, aroids, alocasias, ferns, platyceriums etc. Barry's interest in orchids arose out of this fascination with tropical and sub-tropical plants, and he is always happy to pass on his extensive knowledge about how to grow almost any tropical plant in Perth.

He and Lesley joined the Species Society because he embraced the values of appreciating and encouraging propagation of species orchids, and most importantly, making the process as simple as possible and available to everyone. Barry believes in freely sharing his knowledge and experience, often to the chagrin of others who don't do so, especially if it helps someone else grow their orchids better. Fortunately, this reluctance by successful growers to freely share information has diminished markedly over the last 10-15 years.
Prior to his disability, Barry was boilermaker/welder and rigger, and like many tradesman, was adept at making things. He recalls making a three wheeler bike with sidecar out of a normal bicycle that his kids used to ride, although it only turned one way because it had only one driving wheel.

Following a blood clot that led to nerve damage in his spine in 2000, Barry has been confined to a wheelchair. While this has severely restricted his ability to care for his orchids, Barry still has a small collection of species and hybrids at their new home in Sinagra.
At his previous home in Balcatta, Barry had a 9m x 8m glasshouse in which he grew a wide variety of species and hybrid orchids. I particularly remember how well his plants grew, and that he told me that part of the secret was to ensure that they were dry by late afternoon, that there was always high air movement, and that watering was always done carefully to ensure that plants weren't overwatered.

I recall talking with Barry about fan misting in the mid 90s when it was not something readily available here, and he suggested a number of ways in which it could be done quite cheaply. Barry also advocated the regular application of dolomite lime, something that I had forgotten until the recent AOC in Perth where Roy Tokunaga spoke about the benefits of applying dolomite lime to adjust Ph. and provide a ready source of calcium and magnesium.
In talking to Barry while preparing this acknowledgement, I had one of those 'deju vu' moments where I recalled some of the really helpful advice that he gave me when I was having problems that I could not solve with my orchids. Spending time after the 19th AOC with Roy Tokunaga served to reinforce just how thoughtful and knowledgeable Barry is, and how he freely gives of that knowledge to others.

Barry is always prepared to give his opinion and to participate in a robust debate about orchid plants and their culture. Like many of us, Barry agrees that he learns by challenging the 'taken for granted' assumptions and historical knowledge that was often couched in almost biblical tones about the cultivation of orchids; assumptions that for example, include the notion that there is a 'one best mix' for growing a certain genus. Barry argues that it is much more dependent on the grower's cultural conditions and environment, rather than the media that the grower chooses to use. I remember for example Barry using Sandalwood for his orchids when natural cork was the preferred slab mount as it retained no moisture. In this context, it is fair to say that there are some medias used elsewhere that are les suitable for use in WA given our climate.

Sadly, Barry passed away on the 24th of June 2014. We will miss him.

“He is at peace at last!”.


Ian - 2013 Quiet Achiever

Ian joined the Species Orchid Society of WA in March 2002, and quickly became an active and involved member who was always prepared to help out.
This award, presented for the first time this year was proposed by our President, Graham Bowden who felt that we needed to have some way of recognising those members who always go the extra mile, and help make the Society a friendly, sociable group that people want to be part of. When members were asked to nominate a recipient for the first award, Ian was the unanimous recommendation.

Ian (and his close friend Trevor) attend every meeting that they can, and for several years, Ian has taken responsibility (ably assisted by Margaret) for getting the supper ready each evening and cleaning up afterwards. Similarly, he willingly helps out at home visits and is always ready to assist with cleaning up and washing dishes. Ian and Trevor willingly assist at major events such as the 19th AOC and 2005 and 2008 WAOS, and are in large part responsible for the substantial payment received from these events in recognition of volunteer hours committed.

Ian is a softly spoken gem, and is the kind of person on whom clubs like ours rely to help out. I know that he was embarrassed to receive this award, but can think of no-one more deserving of this of recognition.