30th March, 1929 ~ 16th April, 2007
Brian joined the Sapphire Coast Orchid Club (NSW) shortly after it was formed in 1982.
He had been coming to Merimbula for holidays for some time and decided to retire there. His interests before becoming involved with orchids were breeding cattle and budgerigars. Brian brought his understanding of the principals of breeding to bear on his new found hobby.
He grew a diverse range of orchids but was particularly interested in growing and breeding cymbidiums and oncidiums. He seemed to have a natural understanding of genetics and also chemistry as it applied to fertilizers, neither being easy subjects to get on top of without formal training.
His love of oncidiums led him to develop, arguably, one of the best collections of species oncidiums in Australia. He collaborated with local nurseryman, John Stubbs, in his breeding program for both cymbidiums and oncidiums producing both seed and flasks. Brian was a regular contributor of species Oncidium seed to The Australian Orchid Foundation seed bank.
He was dedicated to conservation of species oncidiums and produced seed whenever possible. He also exchanged seed and plants with growers like Ian Walters of Burleigh Park Orchid Nursery who held him in high regard for his knowledge of species and their culture.
He was an active Cymbidium grower and registered several of his most successful crosses, usually with a name incorporating ‘Merimbula’.
Brian had strong convictions, was Secretary of the Club for many years and a committee member for most of the rest. He liked to see things done properly which explains in part his successes as a grower.
He was incredibly generous in sharing his time and knowledge with new club members. This was one of two ways of showing his love of orchids; the other was growing them superbly.
He loved to travel, usually to do with family or orchids. He never went to sleep in the car; he was just studying the insides of his eyelids, and had a wide circle of orchid growing friends ranging from Tasmania to Queensland.
He will be remembered in our Club for his strong convictions and for his skills in breeding and growing superb cymbidiums and oncidiums. But more importantly we will remember his friendship and willingness to share his knowledge and to help anyone who wanted assistance in growing their plants.
A donation has been made to the Australian Orchid Trust Fund by the Sapphire Coast Orchid Club (NSW).