The Annual Meeting In 1965
Although it was announced at one time that the 1965 Annual Meeting would be in California, there is apparently some desire on the part of the California Chapter to delay having such a meeting there. We are pleased to announce the New York Chapter is receptive to the idea of having the Annual Meeting next spring in the New York area. This would give westerners an opportunity to take in the New York Fair and see some wonderful gardens at the same time they are attending the Annual Meeting of the Society. This has not as yet been approved by the A.R.S. Directors, but as of now it looks as if New York might be the place to go, sometime next May, for one of those annual two or three day rhododendron binges.
Planning a trip from the West Coast to the East for most people requires considerable time and thought, and so we are making this tentative announcement before all arrangements are completed in order that our members may start making plans. The Editor would be glad to hear from anyone who wants to know definite date and place at the earliest possible moment, and will be glad to send that information to any who request it just as soon as it is available.
For a number of years the Annual Meeting was held in Portland, Oregon, at first because that's where most of the members were, and later apparently just because it had become a habit. In those days the Annual Meeting consisted of one evening meeting. usually on the second day of the Portland Show, and was featured by one speaker.
The International Rhododendron Conference held in Portland in 1961 was the first attempt in this country to bring together rhododendron fans from all over the United States plus a few from other countries. The reaction to this meeting was so pleasant and stimulating, and the attendance so good that it was quite evident that American Rhododendron buffs were willing to get together occasionally for an inter-area meeting.
The meeting at Winterthur in Delaware in 1962 proved the point again. There were over 300 registered and a number were turned away because facilities were not sufficient to take care of that many. At this meeting there were several members from the West Coast just as there had been a number from the East Coast at the previous year's meeting in Portland. In 1964 there was a somewhat smaller but quite enthusiastic group that attended the Annual Meeting in Seattle.
These three larger meetings have involved dinners with speakers, some from other lands, visits to outstanding gardens, serious talks on many rhododendron subjects, rhododendron shows or special exhibits, and a universal good time on the part of all who attended. There would be merit, from many points of view, in a schedule of Annual Meetings with a West Coast Chapter one year and an East Coast Chapter the next year, and alternating more or less regularly from east to west. This would strengthen the Society by increasing contacts and friendship through visitation back and forth. We are all interested in the great genus Rhododendron. All want to see a Society which will do everything possible to increase the number of those who are familiar with this group of plants, as well as increase our own knowledge of the tremendous number of species and varieties involved. All members want the Society as a group to disseminate more and better information to those who have not yet become acquainted with the potentials for enjoyment in the growing of rhododendrons and azaleas.