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Canberra Orchid Society

About the Orchid Society of Canberra

The Society
Joining the Society
Our Emblem
Our Constitution
Life Members
Awarded Members
Popular Vote Winners

The Society

The Orchid Society of Canberra was formed in late 1983 by about 20 orchid enthusiasts to exchange information and provide assistance with orchid growing in Canberra conditions. Membership now stands around 100; meetings are informative and well attended. Monthly meetings feature interstate and local speakers, hints and problem discussion, an extensive library, trading table and the ever beautiful plant display and popular vote.

The trading table provides an opportunity for members to sell plants which are surplus to their needs or which they have raised for sale. A small commission is charged on sales. Also on sale are various orchid supplies (pots, cork etc). These supplies are for purchase by members only.

Members display flowering plants at the meetings. The popular vote involves all members present voting for the plant they consider the best in each category and the plant they consider the best overall.

The Society organises an annual spring show. The show is usually held on the middle or last weekend of September. Information on the next show.

Social activities for members are regularly organised, including bus trips, Open Greenhouses, bushwalks and workshops for beginners. Walks are also organised to look for and photograph local native orchids.

The Society publishes a bulletin six times a year that is full of orchid news and growing tips.

The Society has recently published a second edition of its book Growing Orchids in Cool Climate Australia: with Special reference to Canberra . This book provides a wide range of information on orchids for those parts of Australia which experience frosty winters and hot dry summers.

Committee Members 2020-21
President Bill Ferris
Vice PresidentAndrea Robold
Treasurer Jane Wright
SecretaryJenny Cooke
Public Officer Peter Coyne
Ordinary -
- Elisa Pavlic
- Krysia Szkiela
- Brenda Thomson

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Society Meetings

The Society meets:

    • on the first Wednesday of each month from February to December.
    • at the Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Av, Ainslie ACT.
    • beginning at 7:30pm, with setup from 7:00pm.

New members and visitors are always welcome.

Advance notice of meetings is placed on our events page and in our Bulletin.

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About Our Floral Emblem

Picture of petalochilus fusctus

In 1989 the Society adopted Petalochilus fuscatus (syn. Caladenia fuscata) as its floral emblem. Beautifully ornate and colourful flowers are a feature of Caladenias, and Petalochilus fuscatus is no exception with its bright pink blooms borne atop 20 cm stems. It is a deciduous terrestrial, native to our region and flowers locally from September to October. A walk on the hills around Canberra city, especially Black Mountain, should reward the observant hiker with a sighting of Petalochilus fuscatus*.

Like all Petalochilus, it grows from subterranean tuberoids (which are dormant throughout summer) and produces a solitary leaf which emerges in late Autumn. Although nursery raised Petalochilus are available from specialist nurseries, the majority of species are difficult to raise in cultivation. Detailed culture notes, distributed by the society, may help you achieve flowering.

Many of our members have specialised in native terrestrials and exhibit pots of magnificent flowering colonies each spring. Come along to a meeting and discover their secrets.

* NB all Australian orchids are protected species

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Constitution of the Orchid Society

At the 2014 Annual General Meeting the Society adopted a new constitution. The new constitution follows closely the Model Code of the ACT Office of Regulatory Services.

2014 constitution

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Presidents of the Orchid Society

Period of presidency extends from June of the first year to May of the second. Under the Society's constitution, a member can serve as president for no more than three consecutive years, but can more than one term as president.

pre 1988tba
1988-90Bill Handke
1990-91Judy Osborne
1991-92Geoff Dyne
1992-96Sheila Cudmore
1996-98Jane Wright
1998-2001Laurie Woods
2001-04Jane Wright
2004-05Bob Bush
2005-08Ben Walcott
2008-11Robyn Noel
2011-14Jane Wright
2014-17Bill Ferris
2017-19Jane Wright
2019-21Mike Pieloor
2021-Bill Ferris

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Life Members of the Orchid Society

Only one person can be made
a life member in any one year
tbaJoyce Linden
tbaJudy Osborne
tbaSheila Cudmore
1999Jane Wright
2001Les Lincoln
2003Lawrence Woods
2005Robert Rough
2006Audrey Rough
2009Mark Fraser
2010Bob Bush
2011Robyn Noel
2018Bill Ferris

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Awarded Members of the Orchid Society

1999Audry RoughMeritorious Service Award (NSW)
1999June AldenMeritorious Service Award (NSW)
2001Lynne PhelanMeritorious Service Award (NSW)
2003Ben WallaceMeritorious Service Award (NSW)
2005Robyn NoelMeritorious Service Award (NSW)
2006Mark FraserMeritorious Service Award (NSW)
2011Ben WalcottMeritorious Service Award (NSW)
2012Bill FerrisMeritorious Service Award (NSW)

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Winners of the Popular Vote

At each meeting when plants are benched, members attending vote for the plant they consider is the best in each category and the best overall. The award goes to the member/s who have the highest aggregate for the year.

Prior to 2012 the winner held the Graham Phillis trophy for the next 12 months. With the move away from perpetual trophies, separate trophies are presented each year.

In 2018 the Society also introduced a Popular Vote for novice growers to encourage them to bench plants.

picture of popular vote trophy

1989David Rentz
1990Jane Wright, Judy Osborne
1991Judy Osborne
1992Judy Osborne
1993Brian Phelan
1994Jane Wright
1995Keith Alden
1996Robert Rough
1997Priscilla Greve
1998Priscilla Greve
1999Robert Rough
2000Brian Phelan
2001Robert Rough
2002Robert Rough
2003Robert Rough
2004Robert Rough
2005Robert Rough
2006Robert Rough
2007Robert Rough
2008Mark Clements
2009Robert Rough
2010Robert Rough
2011Karen Groeneveld
2012Karen Groeneveld
2013Karen Groeneveld
2014Jane Wright
2015Karen Groeneveld
2016Karen Groeneveld
2017Karen Groeneveld
2018Karen Groeneveld
2019Karen Groeneveld
2020Karen Groeneveld
Novice Growers
2018Andrea Robold
2019Tony Tritschler
2020Tony Tritschler

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