Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born at Long Ashton, England in 1870 and died in Brisbane on 5th April 1949.
The Bick family migrated to Brisbane in 1884. The same year he started nursery work and in 1886 joined the staff of the Acclimatization Society at Bowen Park. He was promoted to foreman and carried out experimental work with sugarcane and pineapples in 1895. Bick became horticulturist at Government House from 1906 to 1911 and it was during this period that he worked for Sir William MacGregor. In 1911 he accompanied Sir William on his first collecting trip to Torres Strait and the Gulf of Carpentaria. As a result of his good work he was appointed botanical collector under F.M. Bailey to the Department of Agriculture and Stock in 1913. He travelled all over Queensland in the pursuit of botanical specimens.
Queensland Herbarium records show that Bick collected in the Rockhampton area from 1911 to 1914 and visited Rockhampton Botanic Gardens. He was a friend of J.F. Bailey who was the son of F. M. Bailey the then Government Botanist. They frequently collected plants together. When in 1917 J.F. Bailey resigned his position of Government Botanist and Curator of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Bick. aged 53, was appointed as the Curator of the Gardens. The position of Government Botanist was given to Cyril White. As a result of the creation of these two positions, since 1917 the histories of the Queensland Herbarium and the Brisbane Botanic Gardens have gone separate ways.
Bick was the Botanic Gardens' curator until his retirement (aged 70) in 1940. In 1925 the Gardens were handed over to the Brisbane City Council and so as a result Bick was the first curator for Botanic Gardens in the Brisbane City Council. Bick was very active as a horticulturist and landscaper supervising many plantings at new gardens, e.g. Sherwood Arboretum and the University grounds at St Lucia. He was a member of many botanical societies, e.g. Horticultural Society of Queensland and the Royal Society of Queensland. He was modest and ever-cheerful. He is commemorated by the presence of many tall trees that he planted in Brisbane, especially at St Lucia (he died while supervising the planting of trees at St Lucia University).
Source: Brisbane 'Courier-Mail' 6/4/1949, Hill, D. (1952)
and Pers. Comm. Ross McKinnon (1988). Published in
Port Curtis District Flora and Early Botanists by G.N. Batianoff and
H.A. Dillewaard (1988), Botany Branch, Queensland Herbarium.
Portrait Photo: 'Brisbane's Botanical Treasures' website (viewed 2021)
Data from 940 specimens