C. I. Sersanous, President
Much progress has been made in the past year concerning the status of the American Rhododendron Society. The most important step forward was the formation of Chapters throughout the Rhododendron and Azalea areas of the United States.
The original incorporators set forth in the articles of incorporation as its first objective, and I quote, "To promote and develop the growing of rhododendrons throughout the United States and to associate together in membership persons interested in promoting and developing the growing of rhododendrons." (end of quote)
Your Board of Directors enthusiastically carried out this provision and your President has carried out their wishes. It has been apparent to your President that we could progress as a National Organization by making it possible for our membership to hold meetings on the local level. Obviously, it was impossible to have meeting places where a large amount of our membership could attend. A set of by-laws was drawn up which carried out the objects of the National Organization for acceptance by the Chapters, and upon approval by the Board of Directors these Chapters were given a Charter.
We have now, as of this date, seven local chapters, as follows: New York, New York; Richmond, Virginia; Seattle, Washington; Tacoma, Washington; Oakland, California; Eugene, Oregon; and at the annual meeting of the American Rhododendron Society, Portland, Oregon became a local chapter.
We have increased our membership nationally from 462 in January 1951, to 645 as of May 1, 1952. This is a considerable gain and undoubtedly was made possible by the formation of chapters. Further progress can be made through gains in membership. We rave 49 members in arrears for their 1952 dues, not included in the figures given above. It is the hope that this mention will serve as a reminder for we cannot, in all fairness to members having paid their dues, still continue on our mailing list the Quarterly Bulletin to those who have not paid. A complete list of members by chapters will be published in the October Bulletin. There are hundreds of rhododendron growers and enthusiasts who would be pleased to join our Society if invited. Many of them know nothing about our efforts, our aims, or objectives. Therefore, may I make another appeal to our membership to bring in at least one new member.
Another objective of our National Society was the establishing of Rhododendron Test Gardens throughout our growing areas. This also has been accomplished. A Nomenclature Committee was appointed and Award Committees were set up. Many new hybrids have been entered for our preliminary award and final test garden certificate. Hardiness ratings will also be given. Unquestionably with our favorable climate on the West Coast, many beautiful hybrids will be developed through our Test Garden efforts.
Our financial statement as of April 30, 1952, continues to be good. The quarterly Bulletin has had great acceptance by the membership. Our Secretary, Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, has worked hard and her duties have been faithfully done. Your Board of Directors has contributed much to our Society in their wisdom, time, expense, and good attendance to all Directors' Meetings.
Our Committees for the most part have done exceedingly good work. Space will not permit enumeration. However, I would like to thank each and every one personally for their efforts.
May I extend to the membership of all of our newly formed chapters my personal congratulations and best wishes for greater success in the future.