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Date: 3 March 2008
The Spring Meeting

Held at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall, Colonel Talbot Branch No.81, Aylmer.

1) Meeting was called to order at 1:10 p.m. by President Richard Cartwright, who welcomed 34 members.

A quick around the table introduction was given, stating where they were from and what kind of gardening they enjoyed. Most people surprisingly included rose growing, imagine that!

2) The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 3 November, 2007 were moved by Maureen Mota, and seconded by Bill Lovelock to be accepted. All in favour.

3) Treasurer’s report: - Submitted by Al Whitfield.
Balance November 2007
Memberships $330.00
Interest $0.26
Total of Balance and Receipts $2,264.07
Rent for Library, Tillsonburg. $50.00
General Expenses $109.30
Misc. Expenses $2.00 Total Expenditures $161.30
Balance 3 March 2008 $2,102.77

Moved by Steve Elkerton that the report be accepted, seconded by Roland Craig. Carried.

4) Correspondence:- There was no correspondence

5) After two failed attempts to get René Schmitz as our guest speaker, we were at last able to welcome him to our meeting. Unfortunately for us, his wife Eva was in Switzerland visiting her daughter. Harry McGee welcomed him on behalf on the society and gave an introduction. René told us about his business, Palatine Fruit and Roses, one in Virgil, Niagara-on-the-Lake and one in Dunneville. In 1977 he purchased Johnny’s Farm Temptations, a 100 acre farm with 30,000 fruit trees in Dunneville. He practices crop rotation growing his roses, and when the cherry trees start to bloom, this is when he gets busy with the rose side of the business. He asked his family for a word to sum up roses, and his son came up with “sensual”. He used his rose fields as an example with the sight and perfume of the roses. A vial of Bulgarian attar of roses was passed round to emphasize the sensuality of the perfume. He also likened the sensual vision to the elaborate ornamental Catholic Churches he visited as a boy. Rose farming like all businesses need to know what the consumer will buy, blush-pink roses are the least attractive to buyers.

In Europe roses with at least 50 petals are the best sellers. Rene noted that in S.W. Ontario there was a lack of roses in private gardens, due he thought to the rose being touted as a “diva” plant, hard to grow and take care of. This could be because people buy the wrong roses and variety. Journals also are to be taken with a “pinch of salt” as each garden is very individual. Rene also remarked on the “high powered fierce” competitors in flower shows in the U.S.A., stating that the way they grow flowers is unnatural. He urged us to visit gardens on garden tours to see how other folk’s garden, and explained that like the Tai Chi he practices, we should as rose growers show what we have learned along the way to newcomers. This will not only help beginners but also us, as teaching is a form of learning for yourself. The programme started with a power point presentation set to music and ended in the same vein, with René giving the names of the roses shown at the very end. Fred Kristoff thanked René.

6) Richard announced the scheduled meetings for the rest of the year:-
a) Saturday, 6 September will be at DeGroots Nursery in Sarnia at 1pm.
b) Saturday, 1 November the A.G.M will be held at Trinity Church in Lambeth at 1pm.

7) Jennifer Grant gave a report on the bus trip as it stands at the moment. Joyce Fleming has agreed to give a presentation on her rose hybridizing and would be delighted to have us to her garden. However, the All- Canadian Rose Show is scheduled for June 21st and 22nd, and Joyce will be in attendance there. It was debated that we go to the show on the Sunday and Joyce will give a lecture at the R.B.G. Joyce Turner has also agreed to let us visit her garden in Burlington. Some details still have to be decided on and the membership will be notified when it is finalized.

8) Harry McGee gave a report on N.R.C.

a) The Mayerthorpe Memorial in Alberta will be dedicated on 5 July this year, with the P.M. and Alberta’s Premier in attendance. The roses will be ‘Champlain’, which will do well in Zone 2. Fred Kristoff moved that we donate $100, seconded by Bill Lovelock. Carried.

b) The articles by Felicitas Svejda on the Canadian Rose Breeding Programme that have been featured in the Journal of National-Roses-Canada plus a summary are looking for funds to have it published in a book form.

c) Harry will be at the All-Canadian Rose Show at the R.B.G. selling roses and promoting N.R.C & the Wm. Saunders Rose Society.

d) Subscriptions to the Journal of the N.R.C. will be increased at the end of March to $25 from $21.

9) Harry McGee noted that the Wm. Saunders Society did not have their own rose show. This is mainly due to time restrictions and not wanting to compete with other societies’ shows. Nothing has been happening between our society and horticultural societies in the region in developing an alternative rose schedule. It was suggested that maybe now we should think about having our own, possibly in late summer when roses have their next big flush.

10) Harry also discussed the current curriculum for judging roses and explained a system that he had been working on. He handed out sheets on rose classification, a new schedule for roses and example pictures of the classes of roses e.g. noble, tower, cluster, spray and wand.

11) Steve Elkerton told us that he was in contact with Bill Saunders in Tucson, Arizona, and he was going to be in this area in June. He hoped he could attend a meeting, but he might be on the bus trip. Steve also noted that the new C.R.S Annual is to his mind the best ever.

12) It was announced that “Seedy Saturday” was being held in London on 8 March, with seminars being presented by the Middlesex M.G. On 12 April, Elgin County M.G. are putting on their “Digging in the Dirt” day in St.Thomas.

13) Fred and Ruth Kristoff were thanked for arranging for the room and for the refreshments.

14) Meeting adjourned at 4:20pm.

The aforementioned minutes are, to the best of our knowledge, an accurate account of the meeting of the Wm. Saunders Rose Society.
Diane Vaughan, Recording Secretary
Richard Cartwright, President
Distribution: all members, patrons, citation holders, and honourary members.

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