The Theme for 1970 American Rhododendron Society
Convention in Vancouver, B.C.
R. C. Rhodes, M.D., Program Chairman
In recent years, especially since the development of the seed exchange under Mrs. Berry, the American Rhododendron Society, has taken on an international flavor. With the 1970 Convention slated for Vancouver, B.C., the first time outside of the United States, this will be further emphasized. It is the hope of the Vancouver Chapter, to be able to give to the Convention a uniquely Canadian impact, both in program and hospitality, and that we will be able to impart to you, during your stay, some of the aspects of the developing personality of this beautiful Canadian city.
Juxtapositioned on the Pacific Rim, between the newer American culture, and the older Asian civilizations, we are aware of being one of the centers for the melding of Eastern and Western ideas. Our art, philosophical thought, literature, architecture and landscaping are beginning to reflect this marriage of Eastern and Western cultures.
We are also situated between the untouched wilderness of the Canadian north and the industrial technology of the United States and it's attendant ecological problems of pollution and overcrowding. These points suggested to us the theme for our Convention: "Man in His Environment - East & West"
Moving from the more specific topics which have occupied us in the past Conventions, we feel that it might be a good point in time and place to consider the potential of the A. R. S., to take some leadership in the broader problems of the ecology on our continent and in our world.
Since Japan, in its history, has faced, and creatively dealt with through horticulture, the problems of overcrowding earlier than the West, we have asked Dr. T. M. C. Taylor, Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia's department of Botany, who has had considerable experience with horticulture in the Orient, to discuss Japanese gardens from this point of view. This will be illustrated with an excellent collection of his own slides of famous Japanese gardens.
Dr. Roy Taylor, Professor of Horticulture at U. B. C. will discuss the problem from a western viewpoint. He has recently submitted and had approved by the Board of Governors of the University, a blueprint for development of a Botanical garden, totaling seventy-seven acres. Dr. Taylor states that the prime objective of the garden is creating "people interest in plants." Fourteen of these acres are now partially or fully developed, and will be included in the tours which members will be able to take on the Sunday afternoon, as part of the Convention program.
Mr. Jack Lofthouse, a member of the Vancouver Chapter, who is well known for his Bulletin articles and whose taped, illustrated lecture on plant propagation, has been circulated to many of the A. R. S. chapters, will give valuable information on photographing your plants.
Dr. David Leach, author of the definitive work, "Rhododendrons of the World," will speak on new rhododendron introductions in the eastern United States, and later moderate a panel of western experts, talking about new hybrids, in the Pacific northwest.
Our guest speaker for the Saturday banquet, Mr. Willard Ireland, who, as provincial archivist, has a wide reputation as a stimulating and entertaining speaker, will relate stories of the early plant discoveries in British Columbia, to the theme of the Convention.
At the 1968 Eugene, Oregon Convention, Mrs. Berry introduced the expression, "rhodoholics" to us. At the luncheon meeting on Saturday, Dr. Cameron Coady, a local pathologist and enthusiastic non-gardener, will entertain us with a discussion on "the psychopathology of rhodoholism!"
The Convention tours will include a visit to an old rock quarry, a high point in the centre of Vancouver, which has been turned into the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Arboretum and represents a convincing example of what can be done with a wasted area. Here is found part of the species collection of Mary and Ted Greig. An old cement quarry near Victoria, the famous Butchart's Gardens, is another example of the same type of development. It will also be included in one of the later optional tours.
At the Queen Elizabeth site, the first triodetic dome in western Canada has recently been constructed to house the Bloedel tropical conservatory and will feature a display of Rhododendrons in bloom during the convention.
We hope that there will be a large registration and the above program will stimulate new ideas, provide information, and allow for a lot of good fun and fellowship.