C. I. Sersanous, President
Time or space in the Quarterly Bulletin as of July 15, 1952 did not permit too lengthy a report on the progress of the American Rhododendron Society.
Your President would like to write a few words concerning the future of the A.R.S. for this particular issue of the Bulletin.
We have given the Chapters the necessary tools to work with by setting up a foundation and future in bringing about the formation of Chapters, but only a start has been made in that direction. A Chapter will be just what you make it. There are a lot of us who are good "doers" who do a lot of talking but do nothing more than talk. Many people who would like to become members of the American Rhododendron Society do not know such an organization exists. Therefore, if we are to grow and become an integral working part of other large national Horticultural Associations or Societies, we should at least extend an invitation to our Horticultural friends to join with us in the work we are doing in giving due recognition to the "King of all Shrubs," the Rhododendron.
We have given the Chapters the necessary tools to work with by setting up local groups throughout the growing areas of the United States, making it possible to work together for a common interest. Test or trial gardens have been set up for the testing of varieties for their hardiness as to all kinds and ranges of climatic conditions. National committees have been appointed on nomenclatures and awards for the efforts of those hybridizers who desire to create and propagate better varieties. Will we use these facilities?
Our Quarterly Bulletin compares favorably with media publishes by any National Horticultural Association. It is ably edited by a rhododendron fancier without compensation, with material coming from the members of our Society and other rhododendron enthusiasts from this country and abroad. It has become a standard periodical among the best libraries and universities in this nation, where it is often used for reference work.
At a meeting of the Board of Directors held on Thursday evening, November 20, 1952, a resolution was unanimously passed creating a new type or kind of membership, this membership to be known as a sustaining membership with dues set at $15.00 annually, of which $10.50 is to go to the American Rhododendron Society and $4.50 to the local Chapter. The purpose of a sustaining membership is to invite members normally enjoying a regular membership who may be desirous of doing something further for the A.R.S. and the Chapters. Dues have not been increased since the inception of the A.R.S. in 1945. In the meantime, everything entering into the costs of operation have increased very materially. There are many things we would like to do which we are prohibited from doing for the lack of funds. We would all like to see in our Quarterly Bulletin occasionally a colored picture or cut of one of the newer outstanding hybrids. This would cost the A.R.S. approximately the sum of $165 and up for a single minimum size plate or engraving. It would require a total of 33 memberships to pay for it.
Another thing we would like to do would be the establishing of a circulating library, so to speak, consisting of slides for use by the Chapters.
The enumerations above are a few of the facilities offered by the American Rhododendron Society, but I believe the greatest opportunity exists in the creation of local groups, making it possible now for the fellowship coming from local meetings in which exchanges of ideas may be had from fellow members sometimes meaning the success or failure of the individual.
All of this sums up to membership, and may I ask that each and every member secure at least one member during the coming season? If we do this very thing, our membership will double, and we will have made untold progress in the Horticultural World in recognition of the genus Rhododendron.