Australian Orchid Foundation

Everett Charles Foster OAM

21-09-1919 ~ 28-10-2010

Margaret Foster (Williams)

1/10/1922 ~ 4/08/2019

Everett was born in Geelong, the eldest of six children. He was a role model all his life, an excellent child, a sportsman, a husband, a father and quite late in his life he became a protector of his endeared native orchids of the Anglesea area.

He was educated at the Belmont State School and Geelong High School. He was later to spend several years attending night school three nights a week (as you did then) at the Gordon Technical School studying Industrial/Analytical Chemistry. After completing his studies in 1941, he accepted a position as a Chemist at the Daylesford Woolen Mill of Felt and Textiles Australia.

At a local monthly charity dance a couple of years later, Everett met Margaret Williams who had been transferred by her Sydney Bank to its Daylesford branch because of the wartime shortage of men available to work in the bank. The couple married in early 1945, and after the war ended Everett was chosen to establish a textiles mill in Durban, South Africa. Two years later Margaret and Everett returned to Victoria, and in early 1953 he took up a position in Geelong.

Everett and Margaret settled in Belmont where they raised their family and became involved in church and numerous other community and sporting activities.

Everett was employed in the Textile industry all of his working life, retiring in 1983 as the Manager of the Dye House for Godfrey Hirst Woolen Mills.

Everett was a very fine sportsman in the Geelong region, excelling in football and cricket. Typical of the man, when the time came to ”hang up his boots” he did not walk away, he stayed involved as an umpire and administrator. In 1953 he was named “Sportsman of the Year” and was elected to the Geelong Football Umpires Hall of Fame in 2006.

As Everett was nearing retirement, Margaret was determined he wouldn’t just play golf but choose something that they could be involved in together. She commented that such an active man could not just sit around, so after gentle prompting they began bushwalking in the Anglesea area. It was there they found what were to become Everett’s beloved native orchids.

Everett’s fascination with orchids also grew out of his interest in photography. He was particularly attracted to the orchid–rich areas nearby at Anglesea and Aireys Inlet. Margaret shared Everett’s love of native orchids and they became expert in their cultivation.

In 1981 Everett and Margaret joined ANGAIR (Anglesea and Aireys Inlet Flora & Fauna Conservation Society). Everett joined the committee where he served continually,   culminating in a Life Membership in 2008. In 2000 he became ANGAIR’s first representative on Barwon Waters ‘Environment Consultative Committee’.

In 1987 Everett and Margaret were involved in the formation of the Australian Native Orchid Society (Geelong Group), where Everett served as inaugural President until 1990, then as secretary until 2008. He was editor of the Bulletin from 1987 until 2009 and was made a Life Member in 2005.

Everett was involved with ongoing taxonomic research into native orchids, making numerous collections for the National Herbarium Collection. One of his collections of an unknown species was in 2000 named Prasophyllum fosteri, thus honouring a wonderful guardian of the environment,

In 1999 Everett and his co-author Margaret MacDonald OAM produced a booklet on the “Orchids of the Anglesea District”, now in its 3rd Edition. The book was written in the hope of saving the endangered species of the district,

In 2007 Everett was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), the citation reading:- “For service to the conservation of Australian native Orchids and to the community of Geelong region through heritage, church and sporting organizations.

Although Margaret did not receive the many accolades bestowed on Everett, she supported and provisioned him through all his many activities. Margaret was most certainly the wind beneath his wings.

This biography was created by their family and friends, to celebrate over ninety remarkable years of family, church, community and sporting life.

Donations have been made to the Australian Orchid Trust Fund by the Directors of The Australian Orchid Foundation to sponsor Everett’s entry, and from the Australian Native Orchid Society (Geelong Group) to sponsor Margaret’s entry

AOTF: 3648

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