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History of the Monterey Bay Rose Society

Organized 1980

The Monterey Bay Rose Society’s (MBRS) first organized meeting was conducted by Mary Marshall on May 30, 1980. Initially, Harvey and Beverly Brown had joined the Santa Clara County Rose Society in 1979, attending their meetings and their rose show. District Director Mary Marshall and her husband, Don, became acquainted and started discussing the possibility of, and how to start a new society in the Monterey Bay area.

The following officers were elected at the organizational meeting:

President - Harvey Brown
Vice President - Buzz Tullis
Recording Secretary - Mary Borre
Treasurer - Mike Lapsys
Correspondence Secretary - Kathy Lapsys
Director at Large - Mary Clinton
Membership Chair - Beverly Brown
Consulting Rosarian - Elizabeth Jackson

The Bay Rose” was the official newsletter of the society. Beverly Brown was its first editor.

The first MBRS rose show was October 18 and 19, 1980 at the Capitola Mall. The first rose show trophies were sponsored by the generous donation of $500 from Antonelli Brothers Begonia Gardens. Harv and Bev were a driving force for getting things done. The show was an ‘open’ class show allowing all ARS members and MBRS members to show their roses.

Since we were a new society, classified as ‘novice’, our members had a lot to learn. Harv’s idea of the “Antonelli Cup” was to encourage other societies to enter and thus give us a bigger show. We still have the Antonelli Cup and other societies do enter.

As a new society, many local rose gardeners joined the society. With the help and cooperation of the members a display garden was entered in the Santa Cruz County Fair. Fund-raising was accomplished by selling miniature roses at the Monterey County Fair. Pruning clinics were conducted and the progressive dinner garden tours were started.

Mary and Don Marshall kept a watchful eye on the ‘new’ society and participated by attending meetings and presenting programs at the meetings. Dick Tyson from San Jose was also very helpful.

Harvey and Beverly both served as President. Beverly was the first woman president in our society. Both were consulting rosarians.

From those early years we have been honored to have members who have been well recognized for their rose growing skills. Names like Ron Brooks, Connie Lapham, Joe Ghio, Rose Iermini, Ferne Mechling, Helen Phippen, Sharon Battle, Edith and Fred Johnsen, Myrna England, Una Pierce, Pat and Newton Wiley, Bill Grant and Bill Chaney. Today’s members are as dedicated and talented and continue to strive to meet the goals that Harv and Bev have given us.

As you can tell, we, the present members still enjoy and follow the traditions and passions Harv and Bev taught us. Our meetings are a mixture of a social gathering, welcoming visitors, and having excellent informative speakers. Our annual rose show, with the best our spring rose gardens offer, continues to draw a large audience. The show has moved from the Capitola Mall to Alladin Nursery, with its picturesque garden settings. The progressive dinner garden tour is a fun, friendly and a gourmet event of the summer season. We continue to challenge ourselves, in the same way our founders did when they began.

Our society has stayed strong with the continued leadership of our Board of Directors and our active members.


Last updated: 3/7/09
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