Views and News from Scotland
Reprinted from THE SCOTTISH CHAPTER NEWSLETTER
The AMERICAN RHODODENDRON SOCIETY has earned the attention and respect of rhododendron growers throughout Scotland as well as internationally, and many of us retain fine memories of stimulating visits paid to our gardens by its members, and of friendships formed over the years - visits which never failed to provide welcome exchanges of ideas and knowledge.
It might be thought in consequence that one day a closer association with an organization that has so much to offer might be sought, and this indeed has now come about through the clear-sightedness of Eddy Wright, now our able and energetic Honorary Secretary, who first suggested that a Scottish Chapter might be formed. Support was immediately forthcoming from all parts of Scotland, amply showing that there had been a very real need for something of this kind which would be entirely independent of the R.H.S. in London.
Membership has grown steadily since the first announcement of the Chapter formation and it is a matter of great pride to me that I was nominated to be the first President.
There can be no possible doubt regarding the health of the new Chapter, and likewise no uncertainty regarding its usefulness to everyone in Scotland who loves and grows rhododendrons. Some of our projected activities will be found elsewhere in this, our first Newsletter.
President F. Severne Mackenna
My late father and I have been members of the American Rhododendron Society for nearly 30 years and I have had the privileges of membership for all of that time, so I feel I can regard myself as the longest standing member of the Scottish Chapter. Over these years I have seen the Society grow enormously and spread its wings afar.
As Vice-President, I am delighted that so much interest has been taken in the new Chapter and we welcome all new members and also previous ARS members. There has long been a need for some form of rhododendron Society in Scotland. Being as far flung as we are, there was a necessity for a strong parent society to bind us together and be able to provide such excellent member's advantages as the Journal and seed exchange. To have started our own society or a branch of the Rhododendron Group of the R.H.S. would most likely have floundered. Now we can look ahead with confidence in spreading the love of rhododendrons throughout Scotland.
Early tasks for our Chapter include a broad agreement on classification so as to make up a new show schedule and the establishment of a well supported annual show itself. Surely all interested in rhododendrons should work together in harmony and not in opposing camps. Ultimately we hope to take part in many other ARS activities such as local meetings, research, and our own hardiness ratings, perhaps even our own Chapter garden.
In the meantime we should all strive to get as many new members as possible. It is most important for us to have members in institutions like the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and the National Trust for Scotland. The more members we have, the more we can influence other bodies and increase our own activities.
The proposed international meeting in Seattle in May 1985 to attempt to settle on an acceptable horticultural classification is of extreme importance to us all. We must endeavor to reach a compromise of our own to present to that meeting which I hope some of our members may be able to attend.
Vice President Peter A. Cox
Both our President and Vice-President have made reference to our membership and it gives me great satisfaction to report that the Chapter is continuing to make steady growth. We are now well past the 50 mark and the Scottish Chapter is attracting membership from elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Secretary-Treasurer E.A.T. Wright