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Torchy Atkinson

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Name  Torchy Atkinson

John Dunstan "Torchy" Atkinson (3 March 1909 – 27 February 1990) was a New Zealand horticultural scientist and scientific administrator.

Atkinson was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 3 March 1909. His father was the solicitor Samuel Arnold Atkinson (1874–1917), and his mother was Mary Herrick Atkinson (née Hursthouse). He was known as Duncan by his family, but friends and colleagues almost all referred to him as Torchy for his red hair, and the name stuck even after he had turned grey. New Zealand's tenth Premier, Sir Harry Atkinson, was his grandfather.

Atkinson was the director of Fruit Research Station of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), and later the director of the Plant Diseases Division. His research has contributed significantly to New Zealand's strong position as an exporter of fruit. After his retirement in 1974, he was commissioned to write the history of the DSIR. Atkinson died at Birkdale, Auckland, on 27 February 1990.


Torchy Atkinson Wikipedia