Members of Note
Our Newest Life Members & Quiet
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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.
Trevor - 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
passed away on the 24th of June 2014. We
will miss him.
He is at peace
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
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