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Old 10-08-2005, 11:03 AM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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Hagen Man Wins 2005 Orchid Award – The Orchid Spectacular

This 2005 Orchid Spectacular brought together all orchid gardeners from the four corners of Papua New Guinea including those from abroad.

A couple of new faces turned up this year at the Orchid Show held that Sir Namaliu Orchid Garden at the National Parliament Park.

The 2005 Orchid Spectacular held at the Parliament......
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:05 AM
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Among them was a small orchid holder from Mt Hagen Pint Kupal who specializes in the collection and breeding of higher altitude Orchids. Mr Kupal became the surprised winner of the of the 2005 Orchid Spectacular Award on the night of the Saturday during a presenting at the parliament.

Mr Kupal had on display some of the very rare and unique species of higher altitude orchids from his orchid garden back in Mt Hagen. His unique and rare collections earned him his win – something he said was “totally unexpected.”

Hagen man Pint Kupal...standing next to his orchid display
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:09 AM
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Mr Kupal’s interest in Orchids started 8 years ago back in his own backyard in Mt Hagen. At the back of his highlands home, built with kunai grass, were different species of flowers. Being a gardener himself and as someone who had a liking for flowers, Mr Kupal had let the colourful plants grow wildly at his backyard.

Little did he know, however, that his colourful surrounding, were made up of orchid species which only find in the higher altitude. What would follow next became a new beginning for Mr Kupal, who then was a simple subsistent farmer.

Visitors during the Orchid show looking at some of the displays..
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:11 AM
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Providentially, his house was located within walking distance from Haus Poroman Lodge where hundreds of tourists from Japanese, and other countries flock by each year to enjoy the wonderful view and the cool climate of the highlands.

On one such visit, a Japanese tourist while passing by Mr Kupal’s home noticed the colourful plants growing wildly at his backyard.
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:14 AM
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“I met this Japanese guy there and he called me and pointed our several different flowers from among others and started identifying them as Orchids. I didn’t react at first, thinking that he was probably mistaken.

“But he took out this booklet with pictures of Orchids and started showing me. I begin to realise he was not mistaken as some of flowers in the picture looked exactly like the ones in my backyard.

“The next thing he did was bring me to Haus Poroman and sure enough the type of flowers displayed under the name Highlands Orchids were similar to ones in my backyard,” Mr Kupal retold his story with a smile on his face.

Visitors during the orchid show.....looking at some of the displays..
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:16 AM
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“This meeting did change everything for me – it was my turning point. My Japanese friend didn’t just identify the orchids for me but instructed me on how to identify different species and cultivate them,” he said.

In the following year Mr Kupal was invited to attend one of the Orchid Shows held in the Japan in 1997. He saw this as an opportunity and attended the show. “I learnt a lot from this show. I was shown how to cultivate orchids. I learnt how to make seedlings and grow orchid plants especially in the highlands at the same time,” Mr Kupal said.


Orchids of Bougainville......
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:18 AM
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Armed with that knowledge and with a new direction in life, Mr Kupal returned back from the show, cleaned his backyard and started engaging himself in doing different collections of orchids to add to his new orchid garden.

“I started trekking through different parts of the Highlands. After my collection of Enga Orchid species, I extended my search for Orchids species to other parts of the Highlands provinces. I went as far as Tari, Pogera and Tapini, Woitape and the Kokoda Trail,” Mr Kupal said.
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:20 AM
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Altogether Mr Kupal had collected around 150 species of orchids – all them can be found in his garden back in Mt Hagen. Of the 150 collections he selected some to put on display during the Orchid Show held in June this year at the National Parliament.

As his collections of Orchids grew Mr Kupal decided to start his own business. But to start was difficult as he needed to secure funds before starting his own company. And his wish was granted after Minister William Duma paid a visit to his Orchid garden in Mt Hagen. “The minister was impressed with what he saw so he approached the Chinese Embassy who presented K10, 000 and he (Duma) contributed K15, 000,” he said.
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:22 AM
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This help was enough for Mr Kupal who went ahead and established the Niugini Highlands Orchid – the company which he is the managing director.

It was Mr Kupal’s first display of his orchid species this year at the Orchid Show and he fully supported the idea of staging such shows as it provides good marketing venues for him self and many other Orchid growers around the country.

“I am looking forward to another Orchid Show next year – by then I would have a variety of orchid displays,” Mr Kupal said.

And who knows….may he’ll get hold of the award for the second time.

Ends//
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