1923 ~ 2002
David was born in 1923 in Nambour, the youngest son of the English family whose father was a builder. During the depression, there was little call for builders so the family moved to a farm at Brooloo in the Mary Valley where they grew pineapples and built houses. Most of the boys learned to build houses.
During the war Dave saw service in New Guinea with the Army. This experience probably instigated his interest in orchids. In 1947 he married Glad and they had six children.
He headed the firm of English builders that employed brothers and sons and cousins as well as outsiders. The firm had a great reputation for quality and price. In the 1970’s it became a really big organization. He retired from building at the end of June 2000.
In 1961 he was a foundation member of Gympie and District Orchid Society. In 1986 he studied to be a judge under the auspices of the Queensland Orchid Society in Nambour. In late 1971 he and other members of his society met with members of other societies at Wappa Dam to set up the Sub Tropic Orchid Council, Queensland (STOCQ) that was aimed to co-ordinate activities of the neighbouring societies. It was founded in 1972.
Dave became the first Registrar of Judges of STOCQ and set about immediately building up judging numbers in the STOCQ. He continued as Registrar into the late 1980’s.
Dave had encyclopaedic knowledge of orchids as a result of culture and fellowship with other orchid growers. His orchids were a love of his life but probably his time allocation to them was down the queue a bit for most of the forty plus years he grew them. His orchids were never grown as well as they were at his McIntosh Creek home once he retired. He had a collection of 3400 plants from many genera.
Dave was diagnosed with bowel cancer in November, 2001, and was positive after the operation, but fell away quickly and died in January, 2002.
We are all unique, but Dave had so many great characteristics that made him a bit of a giant.
Tribute by John Rees
A donation has been made to the Australian Orchid Trust Fund by the Sub-tropical Orchid Council, Queensland, Inc.