Australian Orchid Foundation

In memory of

Adrian ‘Dave’ Groffen

22-03-1950 ~ 21-06-2023

Dave was born in The Hague in Holland. His parents, along with Dave and his three sisters migrated to Australia in 1957 and settled in Adelaide, South Australia.

His public school education in South Australia included learning Latin which was of great value to Dave in later years as it enhanced his orchid studies, particularly in regard to nomenclature.

Dave enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 1967 at the age of 17. He became a member of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers corps. It was here that he received his new name ‘Dave’ rather than being called Adrian as he was known by his family. Dave loved his career and made his way up the ranks to Warrant Officer Class 2 by the age of 27. He was posted to Albury Wodonga as an instructor and then later posted to Brisbane. He was discharged from the army in 1982 after serving for fifteen years. He received the Australian Defence Medal for Service.

Dave commenced his new career by joining TAFE and studying to gain his Bachelor of Education. He lectured in electronics and then Cisco Systems. To do the latter, he trained in the USA and Singapore before returning as the local ‘guru’ for Cisco and training others in their technology systems. Dave retired in 2008 following TAFE restructuring.

Dave met Lyn in 1982 and they married in 1984. During their 41 years together they travelled extensively, both around Australia and overseas. In all they did 28 separate overseas trips, visiting 51 countries, some numerous times.

Dave’s orchid interest began in 1984 following their honeymoon trip to North Queensland where native orchids were seen in large numbers. On their return, Dave built a small bushhouse at the Arana Hills residence and started on his new passion.

With other fellow native orchid enthusiasts, Dave was a foundation member of ANOS (Qld) – Kabi Group Inc. At the inaugural meeting on 9th April, 1991, Dave was elected as first editor of their now well-respected society newsletter, the Kalhari. He carried out this role with distinction for seven years. He performed many other roles with the Kabi Group over time including Show Organiser, NMQOC Inc. delegate, Committee member and Vice President (1997 – 1998).

In later years, Dave served on the national ANOS Inc. Council as Treasurer and Membership Officer (2011 – 2015) and then Councillor (2015 – 2016)

It was inevitable that Dave would take up the challenge to become an ANOS orchid judge, so when ANOS Inc. Northern Regional Judging Panel was formed in 1993, he was one of the first participants, obtaining full judge status in 1994. He went on to be their Training Officer (1994 -1998), Deputy Registrar (1998 – 1999) and then Registrar (1999 – 2007) before serving as National Registrar (2016 – 2019). In all Dave gave more than 30 years of service to his beloved native orchids.

The North Moreton Qld Orchid Council (NMQOC) was formed in 1983 and Dave became involved in many of its activities and initiatives. Dave was an achiever who didn’t take a back seat on anything he was involved in, just born to lead and serve in whatever way he could and this was no exception. In 1992 NMQOC Inc. decided to organise an International Festival of Orchids to be held in 1994. Dave was appointed the Chairman of the organising committee and organised internationally renowned speakers, making the event one not to be forgotten.

Dave considered that one of his best achievements was the establishment of the NMQOC Inc. Species Appreciation Group which he formed in 1992. He ran the monthly meetings for this group for several years until he handed over the reins to David James. He was very pleased that the Group continued to be much appreciated by its members.

Dave also served as a NMQOC Inc. judge (2013 – 2019) on the Judging Subcommittee for which he was also the Training Officer (2014 – 2019). In fact, Dave was a valued trainer and guest speaker at many an orchid society meeting, show or event.

Dave belonged to several orchid societies but one to which he was particularly dedicated was the Orchid Species Society which he joined in 2009. In 2013, Dave became Treasurer and continued in this role until his passing.

Dave attended many conferences both in Australia and overseas. He was influential in supporting the establishment of the Kempsey Speciosum Orchid Spectacular which became an annual pilgrimage for him and many others.

There were always events at which Dave served with distinction, in positions such as Show Marshall, Presenter or Head Steward. His services were in high demand, such was the respect in which he was held by the orchid fraternity. He was quick to offer his assistance to any who needed it.

Dave was a family man and had a very supportive, or should I say understanding, wife in Lyn through all his endeavours. He will be greatly missed by all his family.

Those who are in the orchid world have lost a source of great knowledge and experience but above all, a great friend and fellow orchid lover.

Tribute by:

Lyn Groffen, Pam and Trevor Porteous

Donations have been made to the Australian Orchid Trust Fund

Pam and Trevor Porteous   AOFT: 4138

The Orchid Species Society Inc.  AOTF: 4139