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History of the North Bay Rose Society

Organized 1980
Written by Franciska Mills, founding member

The North Bay Rose Society was started in November 1980. At the time there was another rose society in Vallejo - started in the early 1940's. It was a beloved organization where members appreciated their roses, along with other flowers. Flowers such as camellias and irises were shown at the meetings by the members in different rooms at the same time, along with the Spring Rose Show. ‘Old Timers’ such as Lucia Morgan often reminisced to me how happy she was to come to Vallejo to judge, as she loved the unusual ‘other flower’ side-show.

One individual became the sole leader of that society, with her own whims, ignoring the wishes of the majority. Eventually the Vallejo Rose Society became well known as the "Tea Party Rose Society".

Elaine Cochran and Bruce Phillips both advised me saying, "Your area is in need of a good Rose Society!" That is when the idea of the North Bay Rose Society was born. Elaine mentioned that a man from back East had arrived in Napa and expressed an interest in getting involved in Rose Society matters. Joe Mammino was his name. I contacted him and we met in the home of former District Director Esther Hughes, in Napa.

Present were Mr. Mammino, John Dallas (a Heritage Rose fancier and nurseryman), Susan Turk and myself. To my great pleasure they whole-heartedly supported my presentation for creating a new rose society. They agreed with my desire to start a 100% Chapter Rose Society of the parent organization, The American Rose Society.

In November of 1980 we gathered in a festive mood in the Vallejo Dan Foley Cultural Center. Present were: ARS President Emeritus Joseph Klima, Marion Klima, District Director Mary Marshall and Vallejo Mayor Terry Curtola. They welcomed 48 of us as Charter Members. One of our proudest moments was when our North Bay Rose Society became independently incorporated at both the State and Federal level for the nonprofit tax status.

Our first meeting was held in the more centrally located Florence Douglas Senior Center, where we still meet. The North Bay Rose Society membership fluctuates between 80-100 people during the year. We present two Rose Shows, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. At our monthly meetings we offer great programs that are always open to the rose loving public. We have a different Consulting Rosarian on duty at each meeting, giving timely monthly rose culture lectures. The CR on duty also writes an article for the monthly newsletter, The North Bay Rosarian.

Other activities include public rose pruning demonstrations in several different places in Vallejo, Benicia and in Napa. Each Fall we have a field trip, potluck and garden visitations. At Christmas time we close the year with our Gala Christmas Dinner Party and Installation of Officers. To finalize this event we have our huge Christmas Party Raffle Program. We have such a great participation that members wait in great anticipation to do their own Christmas shopping from the large selection of valuable items. For the past 23 years the chairperson of this event is our own founding member and CR Coordinator of the North Bay Rose Society, Susan Turk.


Last updated: 3/7/09
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