Gold Medal Award: Captain Richard M. Steele
You have dedicated 50 years of effort to study of the genus
. Your research into all aspects of the species with T. Hope Findlay at Windsor Great Park has led to many fine hardy selections. Your study of the work and genius of Joseph Gable led to formation of the Gable Study Group and documentation of his legacy in
Hybrids and Hybridizers
. The pollen, plants, and encouragement you provided the late George Swain and Dr. Donald Craig at Kentville Research Station also led to development of more beautiful and hardy plants.
Your gifts of specimen plants and cuttings have been the backbone of plantings at Boulderwood, Pine Grove Park, Oxen Pond Botanic Gardens, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, the Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor's Garden, the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, and in the gardens of hundreds of people in Atlantic Canada.
Your tireless efforts in hybridizing have resulted in 30,000 plants on 40 acres at Bayport Plant Farm. You have produced plants of exquisite quality and beauty ranked with those of the U.K. and West Coast. As a visionary you developed a large group of hybrids as a solid bank of hardy material solely for use of future hybridizers.
You were a founding member of the Tidewater Chapter, Rhododendron Society of Canada and the RSC Atlantic Chapter. Your plantsmanship, enthusiasm, and ability to help others has done much to improve the genus Rhododendron. For all your accomplishments the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to Captain Richard M. Steele. Niagara, Canada, May 30, 1998.