JARS v50n3 - Cape Cod Chapter Honors Distinguished Members

Cape Cod Chapter Honors Distinguished Members

The Cape Cod Chapter of the ARS installed a park bench in the rhododendron display garden on the Orleans Village Green during their annual meeting April 14 to honor a distinguished researcher. Members of the chapter gathered on the Village Green to dedicate a park bench they had donated, to honor Dr. Gustav Mehlquist of Storrs, Conn. A plaque on the bench reads, "To honor Dr. Gustav A.L. Mehlquist, internationally renowned hybridizer, for his contribution to this garden." The meeting then moved to the courthouse meeting rooms of the Old Jailhouse Tavern.

Sandra Ek and Dr. Gustav Mehlquist
Sandra Ek and Dr. Gustav Mehlquist

Phyllis Laking Hunt, president of the Cape Cod Chapter, said in her remarks that this meeting was devoted to honoring Dr. Mehlquist and to recognizing the work of all the members who planted and maintain the Orleans garden. The garden is a cooperative project of the Orleans Parks Department and the Cape Cod Chapter.

Mrs. Hunt spoke about Dr. Mehlquist's contribution to the genus Rhododendron and plant genetics and breeding during his 40-year career. She said that he is one of the world's foremost authorities in the genetics and breeding of carnations, orchids and rhododendrons and noted that his standards for release of new rhododendron hybrids are so high that of the 120,000 seedlings grown from hundreds of crosses, only 20 have been released to date.

Dr. Mehlquist was presented with a watercolor painting by Martha Hughes of Orleans of one of the rhododendrons he introduced. He had celebrated his 90th birthday April 13 and was given a birthday cake to mark the occasion.

The Bronze Medal, the highest honor the chapter can bestow, was awarded to Beatrice MacDonald, formerly of Sandwich and now living in Hanson, for her service to the Cape Cod Chapter as treasurer and vice president, and for her help in establishing the chapter, supporting plant sales and sharing her horticultural knowledge.

Speaker for the meeting was Dr. Richard H. Gustafson, president of the Sandwich Club. Dr. Gustafson, a noted hybridizer, spoke about his hybridizing work and the activities of the Sandwich Club.