Dereck has been in bonsai for more than 40 years. He currently lives in Polokwane where he started a bonsai study group called: Shoki Bonsai Study Group. He likes to travel and help others forwards bonsai.
Dereck has won many awards in bonsai in South Africa. In 1999 he received the Golden Award for Baobab style, a Certificate of Excellence for both Top Ten and Top Five as well as the Charles and Elsie Ceronio Best African Style. In 2000, he received a Certificate of Supremacy Top Five, as well as a Bronze Top Ten for Mame. In 2000 & 2001, he received the Calvin & Esme Leader Drift Wood Style and in 2001, the Pieter Visagie Informal Upright as well as the Secunda Bonsai Kasi Broom Style. He won the Tawny Floating trphy for Mame in 2008 and another Certificate of Excellence Top Ten and Bronze Top Ten in 2009. In 2007 and 2010, he won an Award of Excellence of the Tzaneen Bonsai Kai and in 2006, he won the Southern Bonsai Society Certificate of Excellence.
Dereck has been a mentor to many in bonsai and recently, he sold a Commiphora harvyii to Antony Smith who entered it into SABA's search for a new logo. This tree was collected in 1986 in Kwazulu Natal and was part of 3 that was dug out on the day. Dereck just removed a stump, no branches were present. One tree was given to Charles Ceronio after the dig. Dereck grew this tree from that point and developed all the branching we see today by cut and grow pruning. The tree has won many awards in the BRAT region plus has Won National awards for the Baobab style.
Antony said that this tree has a big meaning in his life as it is one of the first trees he saw when he started Bonsai in 2000. Dereck has inspired him with this naturalistic Baobab style.