Australian Orchid Foundation

In memory of


18.04.1929 – 14.03.2023

It was with great sadness that members of ANOS Vic were informed of the passing of ANOS Vic life member Godfred Rolfe Oesch on the 14th of March 2023 at the age of 93 years 11 months. He had been a member of ANOS Vic since April 1988, regularly attending meetings until age and ill health caught up with him.

Godfred was born in Mindanao the Philippines to an English/Australian mother and American father. His family lived in Davao on an Agricultural Institute plantation where his father was the superintendent.  He and his sister were sent to Australia at the start of 1941 before the USA joined World War II, to live with his mother’s extended family. His parents and brother, John, stayed in the Philippines, but with the unexpected passing of his father from a brain tumor a few months after Godfred’s arrival in Australia, his mother and brother returned to Australia at the end of the war, and Godfred made Australia his home.

Godfred met and married Yvonne on the 16th of April 1955 and the couple set up house in Springvale.  Sadly Yvonne (who had a wicked sense of humor) passed away in October 2004.

Godfred had a passion for science and nature. Aqua culture and plants were always high on the list of Godfred’s interests.  He grew water plants and bred fish creating a fascinating aquatic garden in his courtyard next to his orchid house.  This was in addition to the Australasian native orchids that gradually took over the shade house in his back garden and which became his real passion.   He was an excellent grower of native epiphytes, especially the Sarcochilus species and hybrids that he cultivated to utter perfection and to the envy of a lot of other growers. 

Godfred was a quiet and unassuming gentleman, never pushing himself forward yet always being there, exhibiting his plants On the Bench and at the ANOS Vic Spring Shows, at Epiphyte Study Group meetings and whenever ANOS Vic officially participated at other events. For over 25 years Godfred generously donated up to 10 plants a month to ANOS Vic for raffle prizes and new member gifts. He was a true asset to the Society and the ESG, always there lending a hand and always willing to share his cultivation methods and his expertise.  Godfred’s dedication service to our Society lead to him being awarded Life Membership.

Tribute:  George Byrne-Dimos, Helene Wild

A donation has been made to the Australian Orchid Trust fund by the Australasian Native Orchid Society Victorian Group Inc

AOTF: 4084