OUR HISTORY

Pensacola Camellia Club History

1937

On November 23rd, men interested in camellias met at East LaRua Street and organized the oldest camellia club in the United States. “The objectives of the Club were to encourage growing of camellias and to spread information regarding their culture.”

1938

First Camellia Show staged by the club in January.

1945

American Camellia Society (ACS) was organized.

1949

In February, G H. Wilkinson, received the first ACS Illges Seedling Japonica Award and the Award of Merit for his seedling Beau Harp which is #10 in ACS register.

Click here to see his registration document with ACS from 1949.

His Marjorie Magnificent is #36 in ACS register.

Followed by Elizabeth Le Bey, #37 on ACS register all in 1949.

1950

Pensacola Men’s Camellia Club was incorporated as a Florida not-for-profit organization in July by the Circuit Court of Escambia County.

1964

The Club recognized the first Person of the Year award to Filo Turner.

1966

William F. Bray, won the National Sewell Mutant Award, given by the ACS for his camellia Elegans Supreme.

1972

Calluset, a product to start and aid growth of the callus on exposed cambium in grafting, was developed by Club member, Dr. Reid Leonard.

1975

In January, the Club hosted an International Convocation with the National ACS Convention. This international meeting and show was attended by a total of 250 growers who exhibited 4,000 blooms with 10,000 visitors viewing the exhibits.

1986

A Trust Fund and Auditing Committee was established. Funds were to be used to help underwrite the Club’s annual camellia show.

1989

Articles of Reincorporation of the Club were signed and the name changed to Pensacola Camellia Club, Inc. At the December show, floral designs showcasing the camellia and bonsai exhibits were displayed.

1992

W. M. Harrison’s Little Babe received the ACS’s Kathern and Les Marbury Award, which is annually awarded to the originator of the best small or small to medium japonica or non-reticulata hybrid.

1993

Dr. T. E. Lundy was the winner of the ACS Illges Seedling Japonica Award for his camellia Lady Laura. The Illeges Award is generally considered to be recognition of the most outstanding recent japonica cultivar.

Mrs. A. E. Wilson also received the ACS Sewell Mulant Award for the camellia C. M. Wilson. The Sewell Award is awarded annually to the originator of a camellia sport showing a distinct beak in form or color.

In December, the Club gave a Special Recognition Award to Jean Comber, for her many contributions to the camellia world. She served as Secretary for the ACS for many years. Secretary and Publications Chairman for the Gulf Coast Camellia Society and served as editor of the International Camellia Society Journal. Jean and John Comber, worked to foster contacts with camellia growers in China and the United States for the exchange of information.

1996

Dr. T. E. Lundy was awarded the Margerete Hertrich Award by the California Camellia Society for his Lady Laura bloom.

2002

The Pensacola Camellia Club Foundation, Inc. was formed as the successor to the Club’s Trust Fund and Articles of Incorporation were filed with Florida Secretary of State. The purpose of the Foundation is to support the Pensacola Camellia Club’s scientific, education and charitable efforts, and to fund the annual show.

2003

The Club joined the Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. as an Associate Member.

Club member, Jean Comber was honored by the ACS with the ACS Bronze Plaque. The Bronze Plaque is awarded to individuals who have furthered the aims of the ACS. The special award may only be given twice during any five year period.

2007

Pensacola Camellia Club and University of West Florida (UWF) Retired Employee Association established a permanent camellia garden at UFW with the primary purpose of housing and protecting one specimen of every known variety that had been registered by Pensacola camellia growers. Currently, over 100 of the approximately 125 Pensacola originated varieties are growing at the UWF Camellia Garden.

2008

The Club constructed the T. Morris Shade House to hold our potted camellias for future sale.

2009 – 2011

Club member, Roger Vinson, served as the President of the ACS, the first ACS officer from our Club.

2013

The Club hosted the Annual Convention of the ACS. Over 100 participants from across the United States and England enjoyed our historic city.

2014

The Club purchased a cargo van, painted it green with the ACS Camellia logo on the side. The van provides protection for transportation of many plants that are either purchased or sold at Club events.

2016

The Club installed three raised camellia beds at the T. Morris Shade House for grafting projects.

2017

In February, the UWF Camellia Garden was rededicated with over $40,000 of improvements, which included walkways, benches, lighting, and memorial bricks as UWF celebrated their 50th Anniversary.

For the December Annual Camellia Show many of the crystal awards were replaced by toy donations to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” Program. These toys go to the poor children of Escambia County.