11. Oswald Hewlett Sargent (1880-1952), botanist
Oswald Sargent was born in England and migrated to Western Australia with his family in 1886. His father, Obeitho, established a pharmacy in York and trained his son in the business. However, Oswald Sargent’s true interests lay in the field of botany. He pursued his botanical interests with great enthusiasm, obtaining qualifications and distinctions, and in 1914 was recognised as an authority on WA orchids by the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
Sargent joined the Western Australian Naturalists’ Club in 1924 and was President from 1928-1929 and 1931-1932. He married pharmacist Gertrude Onions and they moved to Perth for a period of time, but returned to York in order to concentrate on botany.
Oswald attempted to grow native orchids from seed and planned to write a book about Western Australian flora. School children were encouraged to send him specimens, but the project became too big and was abandoned. His well-curated collection of plants was given to the Western Australian Herbarium.