George Watkins was born in Hereford, England. He arrived in Queensland in 1867 and in 1868 he gained a post as dispenser and assistant superintendent at the Benevolent Asylum at Dunwich on Stradbroke Island. He. was a keen observer of the Aborigines and the flora and fauna of the island and specimens of much of the vegetation of the island were sent to F.M. Bailey for identification.
After becoming a registered pharmacist, he left Stradbroke Island and soon established a pharmacy business in Queen Street, Brisbane. He continued his natural history pursuits as a foundation member of the Queensland Philosophical Society and became joint secretary of the Field Naturalists Section. He was active in excursions of the society and built up a considerable library.
In 1891, F.M. Bailey named the strangler fig Ficus watkinsiana after him.
WATKINS, G. (1891). Notes on the Aboriginals of Stradbroke and Moreton Islands. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland. 8: 40-50.
Source: Extracted from: M.Gynther & G.Goadby, The Queensland Naturalist, Vol.44, Nos.1-3, 2006 (incl. photo)