Fred Galle, Pine Mountain, GA
I wish to thank all of you for the opportunity to work with you these past two years. It has been a great challenge - but fun. The Society is made up of many interesting and dedicated members interested not only in the genus Rhododendron but also in the development and improvement of the Society.
A special thanks to the officers and directors and to the members of our many committees.
Thanks to the California Chapter and to Chairman Fred Cummings and his many committee members for a well planned and executed meeting and tours.
New by-laws were approved by the membership and two committees have been working this past year to put these into operation. These include the Policy Committee with Alfred Martin as chairman and the By Laws Implementation Committee chaired by Richard Brooks.
Mrs. Ed (Fran) Egan, our new Executive Secretary has with a great deal of work made the transition of our office very smooth.
Our quality Bulletin continues to improve under the direction of our Editor, Ed Egan. The distribution of color photographs throughout the Bulletin is a great improvement. The Board approved changing the Bulletin to a larger format. This will decrease the cost of printing, but still maintain the high quality of the Bulletin. More information on the new format will be announced in the fall issue.
The American Rhododendron Hybrids book, compiled by Meldon Kraxberger and printed in 1980, has had many favorable comments and reviews. The book, Rhododendrons of China, a joint project of ARS and the Rhododendron Species Foundation was off the press in the late fall of 1980. A special thanks to Judy Young and Lushang Chang for their work in translating this book from Chinese to English, and also to Tom Binford, the publisher.
A Publication Index, compiled by Marge Baird and her committee, is at the press and will be available this summer.
The Board also approved the investigation and possibility of reprinting an old classical Japanese book on azaleas printed in the 1690's. The plan, as presented by Dr. John Creech, is to print the book in its classical Japanese style and a translation in English.
The Rhododendron and Azalea Newsletter edited by Janet Binford continues to receive numerous favorable comments and was approved to continue for another year.
Bill Tietjen and his committee on the Seed Exchange were very busy this past year with over 1320 seed lots and 15,000 individual seed packets. Special thanks to Dick Murcott for giving computer time to assist in the seed list and mailing and also for the general membership mailing list. Thanks to Dr. Henry Schroeder of Indiana for his contribution of 205 seed lots. Five hundred dollars from the seed exchange was contributed to a plant exploration trip to China and thirty-five hundred dollars was turned over to the Research Foundation.
The Research Committee approved a grant for the study of the North American lepidote rhododendrons to North Carolina State University. The Research Foundation has obtained only 42% of its goal of $100,000. Continuous support of members and chapters is still requested.
Membership of the Society is steadily increasing and is expected to go over 5000 by the end of the year. Russell Haag has sent out approximately 100 letters and Bulletins to University Horticulture Departments and Arboreta giving them information on the Society and its many programs. Chapters are recommended to support the University Horticulture Departments and Arboreta in their areas to become members of the Society.
The Board approved a New Pioneer Award and information about the award will be published in the Bulletin.
The next annual meeting of the Society will be in Washington, D.C., on May 7-9, 1982, and the following in Portland, Oregon in 1983.
New officers for the Society are George Ring, President: Janet Binford, Western Vice President; Bill Tietjen, Eastern Vice President; Fran Egan, Executive Secretary; and Ted Van Veen, Secretary-Treasurer.
New Directors elected by the membership are Harold Greer, Clive Justice, Dr. Gustav A. L. Mehlquist and Bill Tietjen. Drs. Henry Schroeder and Herbert Spady, will fill the vacancies left by Janet Binford and Bill Tietjen, who have taken on the duties of Western and Eastern Vice President.
A quote from Thomas Jefferson is still relevant today, "The greatest service which can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture".