‘Father of Thai orchids’ deemed incapacitated
Esteemed orchid expert Rapee Sagarik has at his daughter’s request been legally declared incompetent to handle his own affairs due to chronic illness.
The Central Juvenile and Family Court, in an August 18 decision just published in the Royal Gazette, appointed Rapee’s daughter Maleekanya Sagarik as his guardian.
Rapee, 95, was found to lack sufficient capacity to manage his personal affairs due to a stroke, Parkinson’s disease and pulmonary emphysema and has shown symptoms of dementia.
Professor Rapee – the title was bestowed on him by His Majesty King Bhumibol in 1973 – was born in Bangkok on December 4, 1922.
He graduated from what was to become Kasetsart University and later in life served as the school’s rector.
He has also served as deputy minister of agriculture and president of the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts.
His many years of work in agriculture led to discoveries in the development of hybrid flowers and he became known as the “father of Thai orchids”. The National Library has a room devoted to his writings on the subject.
In retirement, Rapee worked with farmers and wrote articles for various periodicals.