1924 ~ 31st December, 2007
Owen Carter served in the Army as a motorbike despatch rider in Milne Bay (PNG) during World War 2, before malaria and dengue fever forced his return home. He married Rosemary in 1945 and together they raised three children. Owen’s career with the Commonwealth Department of Shipping and Transport involved several interstate transfers from his home in Western Australia and they lived for a time in both Tasmania and Victoria.
Golf and the violin were his main leisure pursuits until, after retirement in 1986, orchid growing grew to become a passion, as it so often does!
Owen and Rosemary eventually accumulated a large orchid collection, and grew cattleyas, phragmipediums and paphiopedilums particularly well. Species orchids and Indian dendrobiums were also favourites. They first joined Melbourne Eastern Orchid Society in the early 1970s, and eventually also became members of the Cymbidium Society of Victoria, Maribyrnong Orchid Society, North-East Melbourne Orchid Society, the Orchid Species Society of Victoria and Warringal Orchid Society.
Owen served a three-year term as President of the Warringal Orchid Society (1998-2000), then as President of the Melbourne Eastern Orchid Society (2001-2003); shortly before his death he also served as Treasurer of that Society. Owen was one of a select group of Members of The Australian Orchid Foundation.
About ten years ago, when in his early seventies, Owen enquired as to whether he was too old to join the Judging Panel of the Orchid Societies Council of Victoria. He was accepted as a trainee judge, passed the 5-year course with flying colours to become a fully qualified judge in 2003, and subsequently served the Panel well as a fully qualified judge at many meetings and shows. Owen was occasionally invited to judge with the Victorian Regional Judging Panel, and Rosemary recently told me his greatest wish was to see reconciliation between the two groups.
Sadly, Owen Carter lost his battle against oesophageal cancer on the last day of 2007. The large number of orchid growers at his memorial service at Fawkner Crematorium clearly demonstrated how widely Owen was respected by Melbourne’s orchid fraternity. His many contributions to the orchid growing community as a whole will be sadly missed.
This tribute is provided by the Committee and Members of the North-East Melbourne Orchid Society.
A donation has been made to the Australian Orchid Trust Fund by the North-East Melbourne Orchid Society.