International Rhododendron Conference
October 1-5, 1988
Ralph Sangster, Melbourne, Australia
Reprinted from The Rhododendron, the Journal of the Australian Rhododendron Society, March 1987
At the first International Rhododendron Conference held in New York in 1978, a group of delegates recognized the need for better communication between rhododendron enthusiasts on an international level. A survey was made amongst national rhododendron societies which showed that support could be forthcoming for an international body.
At the second International Rhododendron Conference held at Edinburgh in 1982, the delegates agreed that a constitution should be drawn up for an international organisation whose objectives would be:
1. To provide an international forum for communication about the genus Rhododendron.
2. The collation, indexing and distribution of literature on rhododendrons.
3. To encourage:a. The exploration and introduction of new plant material from the wild.
b. Research relating to rhododendrons.
c. Preservation of the rhododendron habitat.
At the last conference held at Seattle in 1985 a proposed constitution was presented, amended and adopted. To date twelve national rhododendron societies and institutions have joined the organisation and a simple administrative section has been set up. The organisation is responsible for making arrangements for the date, place and host organisation for international conferences which are normally scheduled at three year intervals.
The next International Conference is now to be held on October 1-5, 1988 at Wollongong, New South Wales, under the auspices of the International Rhododendron Union.
The Conference will be sponsored by the Australian Rhododendron Society as part of the Bicentennial activities celebrating Australia's 200th Anniversary.
The Wollongong City Council and Botanic Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney and Sydney University are supporting this Conference and the Illawarra Branch of the Australian Rhododendron Society will be the host organisation.
The major topics of the conference will focus on the Azalea and the Vireya sections of the genus Rhododendron. The program will include aspects of distribution, cultivation, plant exploration, research and classification.
Time slots will be available for discussion on subjects of general interest. Complementing the conference session time table will be visits to local gardens of merit and places of interest in the surrounding countryside, while the last two days of the conference will be devoted to visiting significant major Australian gardens further afield.
Interested members are invited to submit papers (or advise their intention of doing so) to be presented at this conference.
Further information will follow later but any immediate enquiries may be addressed to:
The Rhododendron Conference Organiser, P.O. Box 1988, Wollongong East, N.S.W. Australia.