Report To The American Rhododendron Society by Seattle Chapter
Edward B. Dunn, President
The making of a report of the activities and accomplishments of the Seattle Chapter for the year 1954 of necessity entails a bit of examination and some lack of modesty.
The Chapter has held regular monthly meetings with the exception of the summer months of July and August. Meetings were well-attended and, in most cases, the chapter business discussions were followed by a special speaker or program. Four meetings during the year stand out: In March Mr. Herbert Ihrig gave his stimulating talk "An Appraisal of Rhododendrons," which was later published in the U. of W. Arboretum Bulletin. The April meeting was a most happy one with the officers of the ARS in attendance to present the gold medal award and honorary membership in the Society to Dr. Joseph F. Rock. This meeting was preceded by a dinner given for Dr. Rock and the guests. This Fall, in October, another no-host dinner was held for Mr. and Mrs. E. H. M. Cox, followed by a short business session and an illustrated lecture by the famous horticulturist. In November Dr. J. H. Clarke came up for the meeting and gave an excellent talk and showed a beautiful series of slides. Other meetings throughout the year featured various panel discussions ably presented by the Program Committee, headed by Mr. Ben F. Nelson.
The big event of our year was the successful Rhododendron Show held from May 6th through the 9th beneath the U. of W. Grandstand. This exhibit was co-sponsored by the Arboretum Foundation. Attendance at the event was more than double that of the 1953 Show and evidenced a greatly increased interest in rhododendron on the part of the citizens of Seattle and the state. The Seattle Chapter is exceedingly grateful to the Arboretum Foundation, the nurserymen, and all the exhibitors and committee workers for a beautiful and successful show. Proceeds from the event made a substantial contribution toward the future construction of a Floral Hall to be erected in the Arboretum for the use of all horticultural groups.
In June the ARS award committee for the Seattle area met here and recommended preliminary awards which were completed as published in the October bulletin.
During 1954 the membership of the Seattle Chapter was increased by the addition of thirty new and enthusiastic members. This growth makes a sixty per cent increase for the last two years. A campaign is under way to make the increase even greater for the coming year. Much work toward this end has already been completed by Mr. Albert F. Hull, the membership chairman.
For the future. Plans are being formulated for another large show in May. A committee is taking shape to conduct what we hope will be an annual contest for an award from the Chapter for the finest home garden use of rhododendron. This program should greatly increase interest in our aims throughout the community. Planting contributions to the City of Portland, educational talks before other horticultural groups and other activities to further interest in the cultivation of rhododendron are plans forecast for a new and interesting year ahead.