Edward B. Dunn
During the past year the Society has shown a healthy growth in membership. We now have over 2500 members and twenty-two chapters, formed or forming. However, this number is quite small considering the people who can and do grow rhododendrons. It is hoped that the membership rise can he accelerated sharply during the coming year.
The annual meeting, so ably hosted by the New York Chapter last May, gave several western members a chance to meet a great many interesting and nice people, as well as, a good look at the remarkable breeding being accomplished on the east coast. The 1966 meeting in Tacoma will afford eastern members the same opportunity in the west. The Board feels that changing the site of the meeting can only lead to a greater understanding and closer cooperation among members, which is to the benefit of all.
The Society is engaged in producing a new book in 1966 and the coming blooming season will be most important in finalizing many ratings. Along with the usual standing committees, active groups are serving the membership as follows, Seed Exchange; Species Location; By-Laws Revision, and a new one, Standardizing Descriptions Committee. This last is working in the computer field and may be on the threshold of something new and exciting in the horticultural world.
Several chapters assisted the Assam Expedition of 1965. The Princeton Chapter sponsored a new Display Garden at Hun School and part of another garden at Mt. Cuba is in the process of becoming a display garden under the aegis of the Philadelphia Chapter.
All in all, it has been a busy and a growing year. My deepest and most sincere thanks go to all those who have served so ably on the various committees. Especial gratitude is due to the members of the New York Chapter for their efforts in making the Annual meeting at Planting Fields such a memorable affair.
Last summer was a great one for producing buds on the west coast. It is hoped that many members will choose 1966 as the spring to visit the Northwest to attend the annual meeting and see a superb rhododendron show presented by the Tacoma Chapter. It should be a banner year for bloom if Jack Frost can be kept under control. I should like to extend my best wishes for a happy, prosperous and good gardening year to all our members.