1915 ~ 2004
It was with regret we heard that Harry Lodge passed away on the 15th August, 2004 after a long illness, the result of a brain tumour. He was 88 years of age.
In 1946 the Orchid Society of Western Australia was founded. Harry was a foundation member and was appointed on to the committee where he served for the next 45 years.
In 1957 a panel of Judges was formed using the standards of the Victorian Orchid Club and Harry was an Assistant Judge. 1960 saw the formation of the Australian Orchid Council Judging Panel and he was made an official AOC Judge. He was appointed Chairman of the Orchid Society of Western Australia’s Judging Panel for a period of 15 years from 1972 to 1987 and he also held the position of Registrar for a period of two years from 1988-89. He continued to attend Judging meetings of the panel as often as possible right up to the time when he was finally admitted to hospital.
Cultural notes were introduced for the first time in the Orchid Societies News letters in 1961 and Harry wrote the notes for his favourite genera paphiopedilums for the next 30 years. He always referred to Paphs. as the ‘Queen of the Orchids’.
In 1971 the Orchid Society of Western Australia. bestowed a Life Membership on Harry for his services to the Society. He was also elected Patron of the South Eastern Orchid Society on its’ formation in 1987.
Harry and Dr E.L. Griffiths formed a company West Coast Orchids Pty Ltd in 1964 specialising in the breeding of phalaenopsis, cattleyas, cymbidiums and in particular paphiopedilums. In 1969 he was the first Australian orchid grower to put Paphiopedilum seedlings of his own breeding on the market commercially. A number of his plants received OCWA AOC Awards.
The Native Orchid Study and Conservation Group was formed in March I974. In September of that year they held the first field day at Madora Bay led by Harry Lodge. He was a foundation and Life Member of the Group. His was a lifelong interest in both exotic and Western Australian bush orchids which started early in his life. He was also a member of most if not every orchid club in Western Australia as well as a long-standing member of the Australian Orchid Foundation.
Harry was appointed to the Australian Orchid Council Panel of Referees in 1982 and continued in this capacity for a further 6 years. At the September 1991 12th Australian Orchid Conference held in Perth, Harry was awarded Honorary Fellowship by the A.O.C. in recognition of his involvement with orchids.
In 1998 he was appointed the Orchid Society of Western Australia Special Recognition Badge for service over and above the normal. Harry was a very willing and helpful worker for the Orchid Society of Western Australia. The segment held at the monthly meetings called “Harry’s Helpful Hints” will always be remembered by the newer growers as well as the older members.
The Orchid Societies of Western Australia all say thank you to Harry, he will be sadly missed.
Harry Lodge was an exceptional human being. His passion and enduring affection for orchids was a beacon for all. By living this example he demonstrated leadership, scholarship and the good humour that comes from a person committed to the seemingly endless glories of nature. His life with orchids and the people of orchids, guided many into this fascinating obsession. His patience and care in fostering newcomers and young people ensured that orchidology would have a ready supply of eager enthusiasts. His interests in orchids were as broad as his generous personality. From being a stoic member of many orchid societies and specialists groups he was as comfortable with his patch of Caladenia latifolia in his front garden to his award winning collection of Paphiopedilum. Complex technology did not disway Harry from pursuing his hobby with him being one of the first in Western Australia to have developed a reliable medium for Paphiopedilum germination. Harry’s passing represents a real loss for Australian orchidology but his memory and legacy will endure well into the future.
Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority
A donation has been made to the Australian Orchid Trust Fund by the Directors of The Australian Orchid Foundation.