Richard and Patricia

Hybridizers
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Patricia Ellen

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Richard Mansbridge

This article in two parts appeared in the Hibiscus Society of Queensland Inc. newsletter in June 2005.  It was a timely tribute to a  hybridizer who had become a friend to the Hibiscus community everywhere he went.

An album of Richard's seedlings is at the foot of the page.

Member Profile on Richard Mansbridge
by Fred Westerman

Richard is one of nature's gentlemen, a very likeable sort of fellow who appears to be able to turn his hand to anything.  Richard and Pat have been married for 28 years. He entered the Air Force at 18 and went to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth occupation forces where he was a wire maintenance mechanic. Three years later he came back to Australia and was employed as a Tank Sinking contractor building dams etc. west of Charters Towers. He met his first wife and they moved to Sydney where he drove a tractor. Before long he was offered the foreman position on building subdivision roads and even was in charge of part of the Sydney to Newcastle expressway.

Preferring the office work, Richard moved up to Staff and Plant Supervisor. One of his projects was Beach Erosion Restoration for homes on the North Coast of Sydney.

Never one to sit still for more than ten years he then bought a dairy farm at Comboyne. It was being overgrazed with 60 cows so he kept 45 of the best milkers and production went up. On the farm his first wife passed away leaving him with four children.

In 1977 he married Patricia and they moved to Airlie Beach where he was employed by the Council as Harbour Master at Schute Harbour for ten years before retiring in Maroochydore.


These are Richard's registered blooms to date
Order is: Bloom - Pod Mother - Pollen Father

Richard Mansbridge
Hibiscus Ambassador without Portfolio
by Wally Morgan

I wrote the article below a few weeks ago thinking to give Richard a boost during his illness.  Sadly, his wife, Patricia has passed away and Iím sure he is devastated.  Richard, may you know from all the messages received, including those on the Internet, that all who know you send their sincere sympathy and support.  I hope this article will indeed boost your feelings at this time.

It's a fact that most of our current regular hybridizers discovered hibiscus after retirement. Richard Mansbridge seems to be one of these.  I know nothing of where he came from as he such a gentleman that he keeps this information to himself and just talks mainly about Hibiscus.


Little Santa


Elena Mia Standard

He has a boots-and-all approach, growing shrubs and standards and has hybridized many excellent varieties.  His standard Elena Mia is often just smothered in blooms.  The Little Santa he bred can be viewed from a distance as a swarm of butterflies, it is so striking.  He has excellent specimens invited into the AuHS HOTY competition.  Although Aussie Gold didn't win in 2005, he still has Eric Robert in 2006 and Maroochy Tango in 2008, both excellent candidates.

Richard discovered computer power in the last few years and has persevered, using the Internet to further his Hibiscus adventures.  It's possible to show blooms every day on the various Yahoo Groups mail lists and Richard's blooms have been popular around the world.  He also has participated as Treasurer in the International Hibiscus Society group and has been an active member of both the AuHS and HSQ here.  He also participated with the Buderim Branch of the HSQ and was the one responsible for the regular meeting reports with lots of pictures.

As a competitor at the Thora Reardon Memorial Day, he won the 2001 trophy which he had to present to me in 2002.  The friendly disposition Richard gives to all who approach him for whatever reason is an endearing quality.

Unfortunately, Richard's health is giving him a rough time at present.  I wish him a speedy recovery so that he can continue to be an ambassador for Hibiscus throughout all the hibiscus communities he participates in.

Sadly, a few months later on October 13, 2005, Richard succumbed to his illness and we will all miss him.

 

(Click any thumbnail for a larger picture which will start a slide show)

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