OSGKC May 16, 2010 Program: Bio of Speaker, Brian Gerhard

[The following is from Brian Gerhard, who is owner of Down Under Native Orchids (D.U.N.O) in Australia and who will be the OSGKC speaker for the May 16 program]

We have been seriously growing orchids for around 30 years; we used to grow anything and everything in the vast range of orchid genera. Whilst we were growing these, Brian was employed by Qantas Airways as a Flight Attendant on international routes and would have to say that was a definite benefit, as he would carefully select plants from Thailand, Philippines, Hawaii and mainland USA and import them back to Australia. Brian has been President and Vice president and is now Co Patron and Life Member of one of the leading orchid societies in Sydney in Manly Warringah Orchid Society [and a] committee member of the local Native Orchid Society here on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

Then came the day when we purchased Down Under Native Orchids. Phena has always been a working Mum all our married life, now four times a Grandma. [H]er primary role is the accounts side of things, but now that she has officially retired, a little more hands-on for her, in conjunction with her brilliant bear making.

D.U.N.O. is arguably the premier Aussie Native Orchid breeder, grower and award winner in Australia in both Species and Hybrid Dendrobiums and Dockrillias.

We’ve received numerous national awards as well as countless show Champions and Grand Champions, including species and hybrid Dockrillia’s, plus having a number of our quality plants being awarded, both here and in the U.S.A.  In 2006 we received the three of the four National awards, in Species, Hybrids and Papua New Guinea Hybrids, whilst 2007 added the National Hybrid Award again.  In February/March this year one of our clients on the East Coast New Jersey, was awarded an AM/AOS for one of our kingianum breeding, a HCC for a Den Dunokayla ‘Chunky Moon’ and a CCM for a Den. Tie-Dye with 90 spikes and 700 blooms.

We are finding that the new breeding of Dockrillia Hybrids coming through which have the cool growing Papua New Guinea species in Dock fuliginosa and Dock syn. flagellum as their parents, are creating an enormous amount of interest, especially since Dockrillia syn, flagellum, received 3 ribbons at the recent Newcastle ANOS Sarcochilus Spring show, which included Grand Champion. We do all the breeding, growing and laboratory work on our premises just 2 hours north of Sydney.

 Our youngest daughter Venessa and her husband David are our Webmasters for the Web site and have received countless comments and compliments on their work on our catalogue presentation over the years. From which you will obtain a very good insight into what, we do and how we do it.

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