Topic: George Fuller

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George Fuller, Curator of Pukekura Park, 1966-1990


George Fuller had early nursery training at Palmers, Glen Eden then Duncan and Davies, N. P. (1945-47). Choosing to specialise in orchids, he gained a position at Sanders, world renowned orchid growers, at St Albans, north of London. This led to a studentship at Kew Gardens where work with trees was an important component of training. Employment in Sweden and Malta followed but not with trees.

In 1964, Fred Parker, a member of the Pukekura Park Committee who established a famous garden open to visitors proclaimed that he would donate his orchid collection to the park on condition that a knowledgeable person was employed to care for it. Late that year G. F. returned to N.Z. and unaware of the above, purely fortuitously called in to renew acquaintance with F. P. while passing through N. Plymouth in transit to investigate a job opportunity elsewhere! No contest. Within an hour he was signed up with J. W. G's. already dynamic team, joining them in 1965.

In 1966 George Fuller was appointed curator of Pukekura Park. The orchid collection grew in size and fame, just as tree care advanced in volume and quality, especially at heights.

In 1990 he was awarded the M.B.E for services to orchids and the community, and at the end of the year retired. He is well known for work with orchids but it is likely that tree care in Pukekura and Brooklands will be his most important and enduring legacy, even if not obvious.

(Excerpt from Notable Trees of New Plymouth, Cory Smith 2002)


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