by C. I. Sersanous
January 1st, 1955 becomes the 10th Anniversary of the American Rhododendron Society which I think can be looked forward to with justifiable pride. In retrospect, ten years have brought forth a great many accomplishments starting from a local entity to now a full fledged National Organization.
The highlight being the formation of seven local Chapters to further the interest in the Genus Rhododendron on a local level, creating an opportunity for meetings and shows from time to time during the year and a further opportunity to discuss freely at these meetings anything and everything pertaining to rhododendrons.
The year of 1954 has again been a good year for the American Rhododendron Society from a viewpoint of increased membership, a better financial position, and splendid cooperation and activities on part of the Chapters.
Our membership has been increased as of May, 1953, from 821 to 914 currently October 1, 1954, which number includes the exchange and corresponding members. This nice increase is very gratifying to your President and I sincerely hope our goal of 1000 for 1954 will be reached in 1955. If each and every one of our membership would make a New Years resolution - to secure at least one new member, our goal would be easily reached and much more could be done for the Society than is being done now. May I again ask for renewed efforts on the part of all to secure additional members.
The directors held four meetings during the year in which the By-laws were revised, certain amendments having been added and two new By-laws were adopted in addition, all of which were or will be published in the Quarterly Bulletin.
The A.R.S. Gold Medal was awarded to J. F. Rock of Seattle, Washington, for Meritorious Horticultural Achievement. A membership in the American Horticultural Society was voted, also a membership in the Royal Horticultural Society of London, England. Permission was also granted to Chapters to join the Royal Horticultural Society with certain restrictions.
Progress reports were made from time to time on the publishing of the 1954 year book. It so appears now that the book will be ready for publication approximately July 1, 1955.
The Circulating Slide Library has not met with too much response from the Chapters. The purpose of this resolution by the Board of Directors was that the A.R.S. would agree to pay for duplicate slides from members, and to furnish without charge to the Chapters other than postage to and from Portland. We have about 50 35mm. slides on hand at the present time which should be sufficient for a good showing at any Chapter meeting and which we in Portland find has good audience acceptance.
Further progress continues with the Portland Chapter Test Garden. More land having been acquired and much planting of both species and hybrids accomplished during the year 1954. An exhibition house is contemplated, combined with an additional cool green house for the housing of the more tender varieties of Rhododendron. It is planned to hold future shows in this building, in an environment of over 2000 plants of specimen size.
While no new chapters came into being during the year 1954, we do find our present Chapters all doing well and carrying on with greater enthusiasm from year to year. Many good shows were held and it is the sincere wish of your President that the shows scheduled for 1955 will be on a larger scale than in 1954 and that the quality will be even better.
Our financial position continues to improve and is wholly owned by the membership, there being no financial obligations outstanding and none contemplated. We are on a current cash basis. An excess of cash receipts over cash disbursements for the fiscal year ended as of April 30, 1954, was carried forward into surplus indicating a surplus from $3041.90 as of April 30, 1950 to $7395.83 as of April 30, 1954. This surplus is not to be considered as cash in the treasury, our cash position being $3564.93 in the bank as of April 30, 1954, our total assets amounting to $9706.33.
Our Quarterly Bulletin, ably edited by Rudolph Henny, has been up to its usual standard during the past year, both editorially and quality of material contributed. The outside cover-in four colors, gives the Bulletin a very attractive appearance. Many thanks for a splendid task well done.
To the Board of Directors, may I extend my personal thanks for splendid cooperation and good attendance at all board meetings. To our Secretary, Mrs. C. T. Hansen, may I extend to her many thanks from the Board of Directors and your President for rendering very efficient and cooperative services.
To our advertisers, many thanks from Mrs. R. M. Bovee, Chairman of our Advertising Committee, for your support during 1954 and a continuation through 1955.
To other Committee Chairmen and Committees, may I personally thank you for your sincere efforts during the past year and your accomplishments.
To the entire membership, may I extend my very best wishes for a Happy New Year and a year that will bring forth greater accomplishments for rhododendron and azalea enthusiasts. It has been a privilege and honor to have served you.