Hillar y orchid will be a living memorial
B y L i s a S l o a n The beauty and peaceful nature of the orchid has always captivated Leigh Leaity.
And the New Zealand Orchid Society president felt those were the perfect qualities for a fl ower honouring one of New Zealand’s greatest heroes.
The society is recognising the life and achievements of Sir Edmund Hillary by naming a cymbidium orchid after him.
It will be unveiled at the society’s annual spring show at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall this weekend.
Mrs Leaity says it seemed fitting to make a tribute to Sir Ed at the show.
“We felt very strongly that it was something we wanted to do,” she says.
“He was a very important member of society and he dedicated his life to the people.”
The annual spring show is held by the orchid society as the last event of the season.
People from as far afi eld as Christchurch are expected to come to see around 500 species of orchid on display in an array of different colours and sizes.
The fl ower for Sir Edmund, who died in January, is a white orchid hybridised and raised by Tuckers Orchids in Auckland.
All orchid registrations have to be recorded with the Royal Horticultural Society in England, so the species will be recognised as the Hillary Orchid worldwide.
It will be unveiled in a ceremony on Friday morning at 9am, where Lady June Hillary will be presented with a flowering plant.
Lady Hillary says she is pleased to be invited to the ceremony.
“I am looking forward to being there and I am interested to see what colour it is,” she says.
Mrs Leaity encourages members of the community to attend as well.
“The orchid is such an attractive, peaceful and beautiful fl ower,” she says.
“It is a thing of beauty worth beholding.”
The show will be open to the public from 10am to 4pm from Friday until Sunday.
Entry is $5 and some plants will be on sale.
The society also meets on the third Wednesday of every month at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall.
For more information, on the orchid show, phone 4119383.
B e a u t i f u l flowe r:
Orchid society president Leigh Leaity with some of the orchids to be displayed at the society’s s p r i n g s h ow t h i s we e ke n d .