Our Society is "bustin out all over"! We have two new chapters: Mt. Arrowsmith Chapter in the Qualicum Beach Port Alberni Parkville area of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and the Ozark Area Chapter of Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas. This brings the number of chapters to 62.
Another very exciting recent development is the approval of a request by our Scottish Chapter to host the 1996 ARS Convention. It's hard to believe but the ARS now has members in 26 countries.
There are many reasons why the American Rhododendron Society has become such an outstanding organization with wide recognition and respect. One is a factor that seldom receives much credit and that is its leadership. From John Henny and his fellow officers, who presided at the birth of our Society to the present day, the ARS has enjoyed remarkable leadership. At considerable personal expense and inconvenience, a lot of men and women from various areas and different backgrounds have served as officers, directors, and on committees. Always vulnerable to criticism, but seldom applauded, they serve you and me well.
Good leadership is never an accident but is the collective will and commitment to do what is considered best for our Society despite controversy, distractions, and personal interests. The growth and eminence of the American Rhododendron Society is incontrovertible proof of how well it has been led.
Don't forget, I need your help. Sign up a "One For Austin" new member now. All three of us - you, me, and the new member will benefit.