The Species Orchid Society of Western Australia (Inc)

Ron Heberle's Thelymitras

Ron Heberle
Ron was born on Christmas Eve 1913 in Perth WA.
He grew up in the city being educated at the Victoria Park Primary School and the Thomas Street Secondary School.
At the age of 17 he went, with his brother, to Kalgoorlie to work on a diamond drilling crew. It was during holidays in Esperance that they befriended a fisherman and found catching and selling fish door to door quite lucrative. So much so that his father left his Perth job and joined the boys.
They spent a couple of days fishing and then sold their catches through Ravensthorpe, Lake King and as far away as Wagin. Good advice finally saw them settle their business in Katanning (1936).
Ron joined the RAAF in WW2 and was sent to England as a pilot.
He returned and in 1946 married Pauline.
The Heberles fished the fairly remote areas along the South coast from Esperance to the west of Albany and travelled through long stretches of undisturbed bush. Ron's love and knowledge of native flora was nurtured by his mother (she had a wonderful collection of pressed flowers) and his travels had him in contact with such beautiful plants as the Royal Hakea.
When his father retired Ron and his family moved to Albany and it was the flower shows for his children's school (Spencer Park Primary) which had them all searching and collecting orchids. With the headmaster, Ron Oliver, Ron, Pauline and their children increased their interest in the terrestrial orchids around the Albany area.
Ron learnt photography with the help of friends and family. He preferred colour slides as he found they gave him truer colours and it was easy for him to share his joy and photos with other orchid lovers.
Ron has published regularly in The Orchadian, has orchids named after him, is a member of the AOF and is a valued confidant and supplier of materials to orchid people in Australia, Europe and the USA. He has an extensive knowledge of the geography of the south west of WA and the precise location of many orchid species.
His interest in natural hybrids and variations within species has been beautifully recorded in his 1500 plus slides. These slides are to be donated to the National Herbarium in Canberra. Ron likes to point out that these slides only represent a fraction of his experiences with the wonderful WA terrestrial orchids.
Ron and Pauline recently moved to Perth and joined our Orchid Species Society of WA. He wishes to make his records available to as many people as possible and this is why he has invited our society to put samples of his photography on our Internet site.

Graham Bowden

February 2004 was a sad time for our members as we lost two of our great friend within a day of each other. Both Ron Heberle and our President, Reg Allison passed away, leaving the membership in mourning at their sad loss.

The death of Ron Heberle marked the end of an era. Ron was a noted orchid identity, not just in his home State of Western Australia, but throughout Australia and the world. Ron had just celebrated his 90th birthday the previous December. His birthday party being marred by the death a few days earlier, of his wife Pauline who had been his lifelong partner.

This web site is dedicated to Ron. He wanted nothing more that to see his work enjoyed by as many people as possible.