Church service for late plant expert Dr Mike Robinson

PUBLISHED: 09:18 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 00:03 16 June 2010

The late Dr Mike Robinson and Liz Tirard.

The late Dr Mike Robinson and Liz Tirard.

A SERVICE of thanksgiving will be held in Honiton today (Wednesday) to celebrate the life of Dr Mike Robinson, who died suddenly at the age of 68.

A SERVICE of thanksgiving will be held in Honiton today (Wednesday) to celebrate the life of Dr Mike Robinson, who died suddenly at the age of 68.

Dr Robinson was the partner of former town councillor Liz Tirard and, although he had been living in Honiton for less than a year, he was a familiar face in the town, where he earned the respect and friendship of all those who met him.

He was a willing participant in many aspects of the town's life, from the use of his presentation skills, instrumental in the successful campaign to thwart Tesco's relocation plan, to the hands-on work he conducted as a volunteer at Roundball Wood. He was an active church member, fund-raising quiz night supremo and a strong supporter of Honiton Garden Club.

Dr Robinson was an Oxford educated physicist, who conducted research into semiconductors at a time when their application was just developing.

He turned to teaching and enjoyed a career spanning 30 years.

In retirement, he devoted his time to his passion. He was a plant expert and published author of international standing, with specialist knowledge of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolia. He was the serving chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society's Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group and the society's camellia sub-committee.

Dr Robinson was also a member of the revered Woody Plant Committee.

He will be remembered in Honiton for his unbridled enthusiasm for community affairs and his enormous sense of fun.

The service of thanksgiving will take place at 2pm in St Paul's Church.


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