JARS v48n1 - In Memoriam: Harold Johnson

In Memoriam: Harold Johnson
Vern Finley
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Today we say good-bye to Harold Johnson. You will each remember him through your own encounters. I liked to listen to him chat enthusiastically about his pastthe bakery, working in the forest, and then the meat brokerage industry. He loved to travel and made so many lasting friendships through the Rotary Club and the Rhododendron Society.
Harold became a member of the Vancouver Rhododendron Society in 1970. He said he attended meetings for three years before anyone asked him why he was there. He has been showing us ever since how to make people comfortable. Francisca Darts [a Vancouver Chapter member] still remembers him greeting members and guests at the door as they arrived at meetings. Harold has been a participating member. He has served as Director, President of the Vancouver Rhododendron Society, District Director to the national board and Director of the Fraser Valley Chapter. He attended all the national conventions and many Western Regional conferences and all meetings at the local level when he was in town. We should label him "Man in Motion." He toured the Pacific Northwest looking for new and old gardens to add to the bus tours that he organized and hosted.
I would have enjoyed listening in on his meeting with MacMillan Bloedel explaining to them how they could improve their public image if they were to protect the rhododendrons on their property at Rhododendron Lake and allow access for the public. Harold and Clive Justice were instrumental in getting the company to declare the area a reserve and, at considerable expense to the company, improve the 9.5-mile road and clear the area involved for better viewing.
Harold received the Bronze Medal at club level and the Silver Medal at national level for his interest, dedication and hard work in assisting the formation of the new chapters in the district. We are so fortunate to have had this long, close association with Harold sharing our common interest in our gardens and with our "rhodos." He loved the rhododendrons.
He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.