Arthur George Alphonso
Fondly called as 'George' , Mr. Arthur George Alphonso's appointment as 'horticultural consultant' to BDA was most timely.
George was a Kew -trained horticulturalist and most avid plant collector with special interest in propagating new and exotic orchids.
He was Senior Curator under Burkhill ( Humphery Morrison Burkhill was the Director of Singapore Botanic Gardens from 1957-69) and took post of chief administrator of the Gardens after Burkhill left.
George through his tenure ( 1970 - 1976) carried on the Holttum tradition of furthering the Gardens reputation as a world famous garden for the collection of orchids species, hybrids and advice on hybridization.( Ref: Bonnie Tinsley (1983)Singapore Green.Times Book International, Singapore)
George's deep understanding of horticulture and early experience in the greening of Singapore were successfully transferred to Bintulu which started its greening programme as early as 1980. George's contribution on the landscaping of Bintulu covered these varied projects which were all funded by the BDA.:
1) Bintulu and Kidurong roadside tree planting and roundabouts.
2) Bintulu Golf Course ( 1 st Nine Hole)
3) Bintulu Wildlife Park ( later re-named Taman Tumbina)
4) Tanjung Batu Coastal Reserve Park
5) Children's Playground at MLNG and BDA Housing Areas
6) Sungei Terus Park Landscaping
7) Bintulu Divisional Mosque Landscaping( later re-named Masjid Assyakirrin)
8) Speaker at various courses organised by BDA for landscaping participants throughout Sarawak Brunei and Sabah
9) Setting up of BDA Plants Nursery at Sungei Plan,Kidurong.
Despite his mature age and problems with eyes sight especially in early 1990's, he was extremely dedicated and committed as a professional and a true friend.
His services continued even after he left Singapore to migrate to Australia. Around 1993, due to a frail old age, his visits to Sarawak and Bintulu which he was always keen and looking forward to became less frequent. We continued to met in later years as friends because by then I had left the BDA to join the private sector as a landscaping contractor.