By Hal Young 1982It hardly seems ten years since a few orchid growers who were interested in species, met to discuss the possibility of forming a "Species Study Group" under the wing of the West Brisbane Orchid Society. For my part it started much earlier when I was only five or six years old. I went out one afternoon with my Grandmother and my Aunt who were looking for "bush" orchids in the hills near Wyong in New South Wales. We did not find any of course. They may have had more idea than I did about what to look for but since then the word 'orchid' seemed to mean something exotic and mysterious and I have not lost my fascination for these beautiful plants. I must have been infected by some virus or other when I bought my first "Cookie" about twenty years ago and soon after collected a few native Cymbidiums in the bush. Not long after that I met Graham Nosworthy and although I cannot really blame him, I became a chronic sufferer of "Orchidmania". I did not know what was so special about species but he soon put me on the right track. We casually talked about the possibility of forming an orchid species society and our first step was to place an advertisement in the newspaper about September 1972. Our inaugral meeting was held on 9th October 1972 and thirteen prospective members attended. We called ourselves 'The Species Study Group' but at the next meeting took the adventurous step of becoming an independent society. Of these original foundation members, six are still with us. Sadly two of the originals, Don Carnegie and Dave Broughton have moved on. Don was our first Secretary and it was largely his efforts and boundless enthusiasm that kept the society together in its early days. We certainly had no idea then that it would grow to over one hundred members in ten years. Dave served the Society well as its first Librarian and he was always there when some work had to be done.Maybe our most adventurous step was taken in 1977 when we decided to stage our first show. It was not our intention to amass a vast fortune but to try to show how interesting and beautiful species could be. Our first show was very successful and provided us with sufficient funds to carry out our operations without the fear of going into receivership. The idea of the show was conceived by Eric Cullen who was then President of the Society. Our subsequent shows have been very successful and this has enabled us to donate some of the proceeds to the Spina Bifida Association of Queensland.