From the Executive Director
The year 2005 marks the 60th anniversary of the American Rhododendron Society. It was on January 27th 1945, that the ARS was incorporated in the City of Portland, Oregon. The 60th anniversary of the ARS coincided with the 25th anniversary of Victoria Island Chapter. Our Annual Convention in Victoria, BC, in April this year was not only a double celebration, but also a party and reunion of over 600 friends and ARS members, joined by mutual love of rhododendrons and azaleas. The Convention attracted members from as far away as Tasmania, Sikkim, Scotland, New Zealand and France.
There is no doubt that some of the finest rhododendron gardens in the country can be found here, but the Vancouver Island chapters of District 1 have done a wonderful job organizing this event. In addition to great garden tours, informative speakers, plant sale and a super flower show, warm hospitality was enjoyed by everyone.
At the Board meeting several new appointments were announced: Dr. Leonard Miller was elected as new ARS President. Ted Stecki stepped into Eastern Vice President position in addition to continuing to chair the Budget & Finance Committee, which he so ably ran for a number of years. Bill Mangles assumes a position of Treasurer and continues to chair the Endowment Committee. June Walsh was appointed ARS Secretary. This Board is a collection of the very dedicated individuals that work in great harmony.
A brand new fund raising initiative was approved by the Board that will welcome the participation by all of you: "Name That Rhododendron". Here is an opportunity to immortalize someone you love by naming one beautiful rhododendron after him or her. There will be one plant each for the western and one for the eastern part of the continent to be named each year. Stay tuned!