C. I. Sersanous, President
Again it is my pleasure to report progress for the past year to the member ship of the American Rhododendron Society. Our Chapters have all functioned well, and some have grown by leaps and bounds. It well substantiates our thoughts of carrying out the wishes of the original incorporators in endeavoring to associate together in membership, persons interested in promoting and developing the growing of rhododendrons on a local level. Our membership nationally continues to grow and is now well over 700. This membership could be, and should be, increased to 1000 in the current year. May I repeat what was said in my report a year ago, quote, 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, aims or objections, end of quote.
We need increased membership. Surely there are literally hundreds of garden enthusiasts who could easily become rhododendron enthusiasts if told about our activities, so won't you do the needful in obtaining at least one new member.
We have many things to offer, and I believe I am correct in stating that there is no single plant grown that has more propagation possibilities than the genus Rhododendron. The reason for making this statement is on account of the tremendous number of species available for this propagation work, all having different characteristics.
Witness what has been accomplished in just a few years in bringing into bloom new hybrids in these United States of America. Hundreds of splendid crosses have been made with hundreds, yes thousands yet to come. I can see no reason why we cannot rival our British friends, and it may be possible to excel their efforts due to climatic conditions.
We have our Quarterly Bulletin to offer new members, which relates the experiences of others in this propagation work.
Our Test Gardens are receiving many new hybrid creations. Quite a number of preliminary awards have been made, and I predict that in a short period of time the Rhododendron World will be amazed in seeing these new crosses in all their splendor and grandeur.
Another service rendered by our Society is that of making available to our members books and publications of both American and British Horticultural organizations. These books are available through our Secretary, and consist of the Azalea Handbook published by the American Horticultural Society, the best exposition on Azaleas that has ever been printed. The 1952 and 1953 Royal Horticultural Society year books on Rhododendron, the latest British Hand Book 1952 issue, and the British Species Book. The A.R.S. year books for previous years 1945 to 1949 inclusive are available.
The 1952-53 financial report from our Auditors appearing elsewhere in this Bulletin, indicates a sound financial condition of the American Rhododendron Society. Note, however, what our Auditors have to say about membership.
Our cash position as of April 30 1953, does not reflect a true condition, for at this time of year dues have just been made available to our treasury. The net income as you will note has been reduced considerably by refunds to the Chapters for their share of the National dues, and after paying for four issues of the Bulletin, salary of our Secretary, and other attendant expenses, this seemingly is the answer for the need of additional membership.
I would like at this time to thank publicly on behalf of the American Rhododendron Society, our editor of the Quarterly Bulletin for a splendid job well done, our Secretary who has been faithful and efficient in her duties, and our Board of Directors who have worked harmoniously with your President in endeavoring to render a satisfactory service to our membership.
May I further extend to the members of the A.R.S. my best personal wishes for continued and greater success in the years to come.