Foundation member and Life Member of ANOS Victorian Group Inc.
Ray attended the inaugural meeting of ANOS Vic at the Victorian Railways Institute, Flinders Street, Melbourne on 16th August, 1968. He was elected as a member of that first committee, one of just five people. He took on the position of Librarian at the following October meeting and was always seeking new books for the library. He held that position until he became Vice-President In 1974.
He took over the position of President when David Cannon had to retire prematurely due to ill health in November 1974. Ray remained President until July 1976. In August 1978, he was awarded Life Membership of the Society. In all of his activities, his wife, Dot, staunchly supported him. They both worked very hard for the Society.
Ray was a participant in the first social outings of the new society, looking for terrestrials at Warneet in spring of 1968. He was a member of the Committee when the decision was made to adopt Calochilus richiae as the Society’s emblem after its rediscovery in 1968.
Ray was heavily involved in the development of the Alex Wilkie Reserve in Springvale, as the representative from ANOS Vic. The area comprised three acres of fenced, but degraded bush land, in which volunteers established pathways and weeded and planted. Many orchids indigenous to the area were donated by ANOS Vic members and planted there under the guidance of Ray. The Alex Wilkie Reserve is there today, opened weekly and providing educational guided walks to see this lovely small area of bush land.
Ray was an excellent grower of both terrestrials and epiphytes. The bayside climate of Black Rock and Seaford was in his favour. At the first Spring Show meeting in September 1969, the winning terrestrial was Ray’s Caladenia filamentosa var. filamentosa. At the second Spring Show in October 1970, Ray grew both the winning terrestrial, Pterostylis falcate, and epiphyte, Dendrobium linguiforme.
There were many visitors to his shade houses both at Black Rock, and later when he and Dot moved to Seaford. He was always very happy to share his extensive knowledge and his plants. Ray’s most notable epiphyte was a huge plant of Dendrobium Bardo Rose ‘alba’. Out there somewhere there will be many plants which have been grown on from a keiki or two received from Ray.
In recent years, Ray still managed to visit many of the Spring Shows, assisted by one of his daughters. Ray never lost his love of Australian orchids.
Tribute by Helen Richards and David Cannon
A donation has been made to the Australian Orchid Trust Fund by the ANOS Vic Group Inc.