George Fraser Honored in Ucluelet, Victoria, BC
Members of the ARS and the public gathered in Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, to honor the legendary plantsman George Fraser at the second annual Fraser Days, May 18. Among those present were three women who, as 10-year-old girls, had been photographed with Fraser in his garden in 1929. Also present was Mrs. Borvik of Saanich, now 92 years old, who had given Fraser forty corms of the pink lily Erythronium revolutum, which Fraser sent back to England. Guest speaker was ARS Past President Lynn Watts of Bellevue, Washington, who reminded those gathered that Fraser was the recipient of the ARS Pioneer Achievement Award. At a short ceremony several of Fraser's hybrid rhododendrons were planted at the "Welcome to Ucluelet" sign. During the spring, members of the ARS local chapters had planted some 200 rhododendrons along the road leading to the village of Ucluelet. Visitors also visited Fraser's grave, decorated by the local Lions Club for the event.
On July 7, Fraser was again honored when the Fochabers Fiddlers of Fochabers, Scotland, performed at the site of the Fraser Memorial stone in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. Christie's Nursery, where Fraser had worked as a boy, is in Fochabers, and Fiona Christie is the featured performer for the Fiddlers. At the event, Bill Dale of Sidney gave Fiona two plants of the recently named Rhododendron 'Fiona Christie'. The parent plant had been collected from Fraser's garden in 1948. In 2001 Bill Dale took cuttings and Evelyn Weesjes rooted them. The plants will be placed at Christie's nursery near a bronze plaque in honor of Fraser.