Arthur George Alphonso (1921-2005)
George Alphonso trained as a gardener at the Singapore Botanic Gardens during the Directorship of Professor Eric Holttum. After the war, in which he continued to work in the garden, he came to Kew in 1954 on the two-year, international trainee course. During his two years at Kew he developed a love of the gardens and made many lasting friends.
On his return to Singapore, he resumed work at the Gardens as Senior Curator and, not long after the retirement of Professor Humphrey Burkhill as Director in 1969, was appointed Acting Director, a post that he held until 1976. He developed the orchid hybridization programme in the gardens and also introduced many novelties. Following his retirement he continued to take an interest in the Gardens but developed a new career as a garden designer, travelling as far afield as Australia and the Philippines, there to advise President and Mrs Marcos. He continued to work with orchids and was a regular lecturer at World Orchid Conferences and other events until the 1990s. He settled eventually in Perth, Australia, where his daughters are resident, but made frequent forays back to Singapore where he remained active in the Orchid Society of South-East Asia for many years. The hybrid orchid genus Alphonsara is named in his honour.
George passed away on 27 July 2005 in Perth. He leaves behind four daughters and their families, his wife Margaret having predeceased him.
More Pictures of the Poui Trees in Bintulu ----24 years later!