Minutes of Meeting Portland Chapter the A.R.S.
September 16, 1954
Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, Secretary
The first fall meeting of the Portland chapter was called to order by President C. I. Sersanous in the auditorium of the Journal building, 8 P. M. New members and guests were introduced.
The secretary made a short report on the fund-raising project for the proposed greenhouse. A plea was then made for more donations as we have a long ways to go before reaching the $5,300 mark, which is the estimated cost of the structure.
The speaker of the evening was then introduced, Dr. Joseph Rock, one of the foremost living plant hunters in the world today. Dr. Rock began his talk by using a pointer and tracing, on a large map of China, the various routes he traveled over to gain access into the vast territory of Indo China and Upper Burma. During this travelogue he told many interesting stories about the native inhabitants of each little kingdom, some were very amusing, others positively gruesome in aspect.
He first crossed the Mekong River, then followed it up to the Black River where all the tea consumed by the Tibetans grows wild on bushes 10' to 20' in height; on up the Black River to the Red River where he saw the first rhododendron, rubiginosum. Farther up were various Primulas, R. fastigiatum, and R. neriiflorum.
Lichiang, the place where Robert Forrest lived for 6 years was nationalized in 1723. The Snow River, southern most snow river of China drops 1000 feet in 28 miles. The trail is 5000 feet above the river and is one of the wonders of the world as it goes through country duplicating Yellowstone National Park but there are no geysers. There are a great many rhododendrons in the area and headquarters were made at the foot of the Lichiang range in the Mull Kingdom. This whole area is rich in plants, most of mountains are of limestone indicating that all were under the sea at one time. There are no Chinese in this area, all tribes are Tibetans.
Quoting from an old Chinese proverb that one picture is worth 10,000 words, Dr. Rock proceeded to show slides of this vast area, in which rare alpine flowers were seen, stately snow-blanketed mountains, sheer gorges dropping abruptly five to six thousand feet, and also the human element showing their barbaric treatment of prisoners. Following the slides we were treated to two reels of moving pictures taken 26 years ago, one showing a crossing of the Yangtze, a hair-raising experience and the other, dances performed by monks in their barbaric masks to propitiate their gods.