In Memoriam: Sidney V. Burns
Gordon E. Jones
Planting Fields Arboretum
Oyster Bay, New York
Sidney ('Sid') Burns, an avid Rhododendron and Holly buff, an active member and leader of both the New York Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and Holly Society of America died April 9th following a long illness.
An electronics engineer and President of Caddell-Burns Manufacturing Co., the firm he founded, Sid derived great satisfaction and pleasure from his garden in which he developed a remarkable collection of both rhododendrons and hollies. For all rhododendron, holly and gardening enthusiasts on Long Island it is a great attraction.
As his interest in and knowledge of rhododendrons grew, Sid and his wife, Clara, became active members of the New York Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Sid was soon elected President of the Chapter and served ably, as an officer and director for many years. Following the approval by the Holly Society of America National directors for the formation of local chapters, Sid was largely instrumental in the founding of the Long Island Chapter becoming President in 1963 retaining the post until 1978. The enthusiastic chapter under Sid's leadership hosted the 37th Annual meeting of the Holly Society of America at Planting Fields in 1964. The following year as President of the New York Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society Sid and fellow members hosted the National Convention of the American Rhododendron Society at Planting Fields. At this meeting Sid was presented the ARS Silver Medal in recognition of his many contributions to the Chapter and the National.
An enthusiastic admirer and supporter of the Arboretum at Planting Fields, Sid and many horticultural friends of the Arboretum were distressed with the forced closing of Planting Fields to the public because of a fiscal crisis created by the State Legislatures' transfer of the Arboretum from the State University to New York State Parks Authority. Under Sid's aggressive leadership, within months a vital Friends of Planting Fields organization was mobilized which became a vital force in restoring funds to operate the Arboretum and in seeing that it was again open to the public.
In his capacity as a Director of the Friends of Planting Fields and trustee of Planting Fields Foundation, as well as, through his leadership and dedicated commitment to the success of the New York Chapters of the Rhododendron, Holly and Long Island Horticultural Societies all headquartered at Planting Fields Arboretum, Sid Burns made an exceptional contribution to the promotion and encouragement of amateur horticulture on Long Island.