Orchid love affair sees couple to half a century of marriage

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John Frisch has kept this photo of his wife on their honeymoon, standing under a spray of orchid blooms, in his wallet for the last 50 years. Just like all plants.”Mr Frisch said orchids had played a steady part in their marriage and he still carried a photo in his wallet of his wife sitting under a flowering orchid from their honeymoon. I’d like to do a refresh and start again but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”They said their relationship, much like growing orchids, was a labour of love.”I think it has to be or you don’t get there,” Mrs Frisch said.”It’s hard work sometimes, and sometimes it comes easy. (ABC Capricornia: Cate Fry)
“But we still have a Dendrobium speciosum in our garden, which is the flower that was in that photograph.”Mr and Mrs Frisch both come from a farming background and said that was where their fascination with orchids began.Mr Frisch said the plant’s beauty and complexity intrigued him.”Orchids are the most diverse group of plants on the planet. There’s always been a degree of excitement.” Mr Frisch said.”Fifty years unfortunately has gone too quickly. There are thousands of different species.”They grow from tops of mountains down to the bottom, from almost the Arctic circle all the way down to the Antarctic circle. It was what was under the flowers that was of greater interest,” he said. The Rockhampton couple married in 1968 and have spent the years raising two children, travelling the world together and fuelling their passion for the exotic plant.”We really have had a marvellous life together. A Queensland couple’s love for each other and for orchid plants culminates in a 50th wedding anniversary celebration, not surprisingly, at an orchid show.Passionate orchid growers John and Sharyn Frisch spent their half-century wedding anniversary competing at the Rockhampton Orchid Society’s biannual show over the weekend.”What better way to spend an anniversary than with all the beauty of the flowers?” Mr Frisch said. “But orchid-growing is not just for the oldies, it’s for everybody.”

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John and Sharyn Frisch have been a part of the Rockhampton Orchid Society for over 30 years and said it’s a great social group. (ABC Capricornia: Rachel McGhee ) Social connection for elderlyMr and Mrs Frisch are long-time members of the Rockhampton Orchid Society.They said it was a group that not only offered decades of knowledge about the plant, but also a social network for older members.”That is incredibly important,” Mr Frisch said.”These people have something to look forward to, maintain that social contact and maintain an interest. “I guess it [the orchid] wasn’t my greatest love at that stage.
ABC Capricornia

By Rachel McGhee and Cate Fry

Updated

October 01, 2018 12:32:03

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John and Sharyn Frisch are passionate orchid growers and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at an orchid show. (ABC Capricornia: Rachel McGhee)
Map:
Rockhampton 4700