published April 25, 2013

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Veitch Memorial Medal

Peter R. Furniss and Dr. Alec Pridgeon, PhD were among six individuals honored with the The Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticulture Society. The Veitch Memorial Medal may be awarded annually to persons of any nationality who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the art, science or practice of horticulture.

photo: © 2013 Johan Hermans

Peter R. Furniss
Pete Furniss has dedicated his life successfully promoting orchids and orchid growing throughout the world. As past President of the American Orchid Society and outgoing President of the World Orchid Conference Trust he has inspired and encouraged many.

Pete Furniss is the most eminent orchid personality in the USA, he is also known and respected throughout the world. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1963-1967; and then spent his career in manufacturing and Computer Process Controls. He has been greatly involved with orchids and the American Orchid Society for over 50 years. He is a qualified judge, gained several awards for his plants and has served in various positions with the AOS including Treasurer and President. He was given the AOS Gold Medal of Achievement in 2002 and the AOS Ambassador Award in 2004.

His service on the World Orchid Conference Trust began as Trustee in 1992; and he is now its President. He serves on the International Orchid Commission, the RHS Orchid Committee and the RHS Advisory Sub-Committee on Orchid Hybrid Registration.

Pete’s greatest achievements have been as President of the World Orchid Conference Trust supporting the tri-annual conference and show but also conservation, education and science.

photo: © 2013 Johan Hermans

Dr. Alec Pridgeon
Alec Pridgeon is one of the most distinguished orchidologists working in his field today; his contribution to the studies of systematics and evolution of orchids is significant, particularly with regard to Genera Orchidacearum. Alec is well known for his great efforts in the field of orchid conservation. His knowledge has been utilized in the past by the RHS Orchid Committee and the RHS Orchid Registration Advisory Committee (now ASCHOR), as well as his continuing work with the American Orchid Society. However, Alec's contribution to horticulture is manifold. His numerous lectures and publications are well received by scientists and non-scientists alike. He is a great communicator and bridges the gap between pure science and its application to horticulture. Dr. Pridgeon received his doctorate at Florida State University 1981 in anatomy and systematics of orchids. He is the current Sainsbury Orchid Fellow at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and co-edits and contributes to Genera Orchidacearum, the most comprehensive multi-volume monograph of the orchid family.

Pridgeon has served twice as editor of the American Orchid Society Bulletin (now known as Orchids), and current member of the Advisory Editorial Board. He was founding editor of the scientific orchid journal Lindleyana and has written or co-written over 60 scientific articles or book chapters and over 100 popular articles. He has co-written and co-directed five videotapes. Dr. Pridgeon has edited 14 books including The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids and compiled the Orchid Action Plan for the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Geneva. He was instrumental in organizing four (so far) Scientific Conferences on Andean Orchids. He is a former member of the RHS Orchid Committee and current Chair of the International Orchid Committee.

Johan Hermans, April 2013