QBARS - v20n3 Gold Medal Award Citations: Ted & Mary Greig, John Henny, Ben Nelson


Ted and Mary Greig Gold Medal Award
Fig. 38.  Ted and Mary Greig receiving the Gold Medal
Award Citation at the Annual Meeting of the Society.
Photo by Orris Thompson

Forty years ago the Pacific Northwest was, rhododendron-wise, a desert, with only a small oasis here and there to serve those interested in our favorite plants. At Royston, on Vancouver Island, such an establishment was at this time born, and over the years has grown to become a headquarters for a continent. All of this is due to the perseverance and energy and knowledge of Ted and Mary Greig who planned, built and conserved a great center of rhododendron culture. To them came the best seed collections of Kingdon-Ward, Ludlow and Sherrif, and Rock. From these raw materials and through the catalysis of the Greigs' labor and loving care, countless valuable species were introduced to America.
Of equal importance they retained their treasures through careful and learned culture, and had replacements available when others lost theirs. The hard won knowledge has been shared with fellow enthusiasts. Countless Chapter programs have been highlighted by eagerly anticipated appearances of the Greigs. Countless rhododendron shows have been made better by Ted Greig's participation as a judge. Countless pilgrimages, individual and group, have been made to the Royston shrine to be met with unfailing hospitality and profitable sharing of information and experience.
As time for retirement came, the Greigs performed final acts of service to rhododendron culture by making possible the purchase of their fine collection by the Vancouver Park Board, and by making a generous donation of plants to the University of British Columbia.
For all these great gifts we make the best return available to us and award to Ted and Mary Greig the Gold Medal of The American Rhododendron Society. The award is made to pioneers who served and shared in self-exploitation, to friends who've stood the test of time.

John Henny Gold Medal Award
Fig. 39.  Pres. Dunn looking over the Gold Medal Award
Citation being presented to Mr. John Henny, first, President
of the American Rhododendron Society.
Photo by Orris Thompson

As first President of the American Rhododendron Society during its formative years, John Henny through his leadership and untiring efforts in behalf of the Society, helped to build a foundation on which the Society has expanded and on which its present success is based. After the growth of the Society and the various chapters, John Henny served as President of the Portland Chapter for four years. During this time the Portland Chapter was host to the International Rhododendron Conference in 1961.
John Henny has had a continuing interest in raising the quality of rhododendron hybrids being grown in this country. He has made three extended trips to England searching for the finest new hybrids to introduce into American gardens. He directed his own hybridizing program to this end and has contributed new rhododendrons of recognized merit. John Henny's service to the Society has continued through the years, as a National Director and as a contributor of many fine articles to the Society's publications. Of great value have been his willingness to share his wealth of rhododendron knowledge and his efforts to raise rhododendron quality.
To John Henny, founding member and first President, is presented the Gold Medal of The American Rhododendron Society, in recognition of his many contributions to the Society, in grateful acknowledgment of his past guidance, in continuing service and as a token of the deep respect and admiration in which he is held by his associates in the Society.

Ben Nelson Gold Medal Award
Fig. 40.  Mr. Ben Nelson receiving his Gold Medal Award
Citation from Pres. Edward Dunn.
Photo by Orris Thompson

In any field of endeavor it is unusual to find a person who will really strive for perfection of possession of knowledge. It is even more unusual to find one who does this and is able to maintain perspective in the common touch. Attainment of both these distinctions coupled with a true generosity and a desire to share the results of his labor is unique.
Over the past thirty years, Ben Nelson has devoted every spare hour to introduce and breed fine rhododendrons. He has studied, and read and learned to perfect his knowledge of these fine plants. He has given of his knowledge as Chapter Program Chairman, as founder of the Seattle Chapter Study Group, as a tireless worker on the Species Evaluation Committee and as a friend of every rhododendron grower. Throughout all this he has maintained an endearing attitude of common sense and camaraderie.
For all these things, knowledge, generosity, friendship and service we award to Ben Nelson the Gold Medal of The American Rhododendron Society and offer him this citation as elder statesman of rhododendron lovers.