Max Akam has grown orchids in retirement for many years. He decided to specialize in pleiones and now has the largest collection of species and hybrids in Victoria, probably in Australia. Max has written and spoken widely on the cultivation of pleiones, and his article on this subject, providing month-by-month cultural advice is published below.

Gary Backhouse is probably best known (with his co-author Jeffrey Jeanes) for his authoritative volume The Orchids of Victoria but he is also a grower par excellence of many orchids from overseas. His article in this issue describes how he grows the Japanese species Neofinetia falcata.

Julian Coker and his wife Frances are proprietors of Atlantis Orchids, a nursery that specialises in cymbidiums together with other cool-growing orchid species and hybrids. Julian is the Immediate Past President of OSCOV and an Emeritus Judge of the OSCOV Judging Panel. He is well known throughout Australia as an accomplished speaker on cymbidiums and other orchids and as a prolific author of articles on a wide range of orchid topics. Three of his many articles on cymbidiums appear in this publication.

The late Maurie Black was well known as an accomplished hobby grower of a wide range of different orchid genera for many years. Maurie also wrote widely about orchids and edited the Warringal Orchid Society bulletin for 13 years and then the Melbourne Eastern Orchid Society bulletin for a further eight years, until illness forced his retirement. He was a stickler for the correct spelling and pronunciation of orchid names; his article on nomenclature in this publication was one of the last that he wrote.

Ted Elgood and his wife Margaret have built up an impressive collection of Australian native dendrobiums and sarcochilus since they retired to Healesville about ten years ago. They are excellent growers and have won many awards for their native orchids. Always willing to share their knowledge, they host frequent visits by Victorian orchid societies. There are few more qualified to write authoritatively on sarcochilus culture than Ted Elgood. A detailed article on the subject appears below.

Keith Hamilton is not an orchid grower but has much experience in the construction of a range of shade houses and glasshouses for his wife Barbara, who is well known as a keen orchid grower and exhibitor. She is regularly seen at orchid functions throughout Victoria and competes very successfully at most OSCOV-sponsored shows, despite living in eastern Victoria at Briagolong, north of Sale, since Keith retired. Keith gives us an amusing insight into his marriage to a “virus-infected” orchid fanatic.

Alan Hope is an OSCOV judge and Deputy Liaison Officer of the OSCOV Judging Panel. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the Orchid Species Society of Victoria. Alan is a vice-president of the North East Melbourne Orchid Society. He grows a wide range of orchids, specialising in paphiopedilums and phragmipediums and lectures widely on paphiopedilums, Asian orchid travels and orchid culture.

Bill Mather is an OSCOV judge and Secretary of the OSCOV Judging Panel. He is also Assistant Secretary of the OSCOV Executive and Patron of the West Melbourne Orchid Society. Bill is a member of the OSCOV Speakers’ Panel; his topics include judging, paphiopedilums, phalaenopsis and general culture.

Brian Milligan is an OSCOV judge and Liaison Officer of the OSCOV Executive. He is a vice-president of the North East Melbourne Orchid Society and editor of its monthly bulletin and editor of the Journal of the Orchid Species Society of Victoria. Brian is also a director of the Australian Orchid Foundation. He speaks widely on species orchids, disas, orchid history and orchid travels in China. His special interests are species orchids, disas, masdevallias, Australian native dendrobiums and orchid history.