Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies


July 14, 2007


The meeting was hosted by the Gainesville Bromeliad Society. The meeting called to order by Jay Thurrot at 1:00 pm, and a sign-up sheet initiated for attendance. Each representative provided a brief introduction stating name and her/his society. All societies were represented; there was a quorum.

Motion passed to approve the minutes for the April meeting ―that took place at the home of Ed and Moyna Prince, in Miami ―as shown in the website for FCBS.

Jay lamented with sad words on the unexpected death of Ed Prince and said a card of regrets and sympathy had been sent to Moyna and her family.

Juan Espinosa-Almodovar also expressed sorrow and distress on behalf of the members of the Bromeliad Society of South Florida. Juan stood up to show he was wearing his societyís badge and explained this was in remembrance of Edís desire that one should closely identify with his society. This was just one of many ways Ed Prince made himself valuable to every enterprise he undertook. Juan spoke briefly on Edís near indispensable contributions and encouragement to other members. Especially, he recalled traveling with Ed and Moyna several years ago to the Extravaganza in Daytona, which first brought him in contact with this Council. More recently, it was Ed Prince who asked Juan to consider becoming representative for BSSF at the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies; a few months later Ed suggested that Juan step-up and serve as secretary as well. Further allusions were kept short by strong emotion, but others present echoed Juanís words with sad and thoughtful sentiments of their own. Agreement was unanimous that Ed Prince will be sorely missed.

The Treasurerís Report began with an unusual donation made by an out-of-state visitor towards the Weevil Fund. The amount was $25.00, sent in by a tourist who was sorry to hear about the threat we are fighting and wanted to help! As of July 14, 2007, the total accounts balance stands at $13, 260.14, as reported by Sudi Hipsley, Treasurer.

A question was asked about the $61.25 charge, which was identified as the yearly fee required for the state incorporation. Should the fee be paid late, the state imposes a stiff fine as well.

Michael Andreas opened his Webmasterís Report announcing a present backlog in the image bank, where he is working on several hundred items still to be entered. On a brighter side, Michael assured us the domain name is paid-up well in advance for a number of years.

Daily upkeep of requests and data is maintained by Karen Andreas. Karen reports we are doing better in eBay, with very few offenders of picture copyrights this past quarter. In general, she keeps up with about 200 images of American collectors and a whooping 400 plus from Australia each day!

Karen asked again for articles and/or notices of events for publication in the Council newsletter, with a deadline of 7-23. Also, everyone present was invited to attend a meeting of the Bromeliad Society International the following week, in New Orleans. The November issue of our newsletter will include an index, to facilitate its usefulness.

The question of using pictures to accompany the articles rose again. It would raise the cost of each issue, but it may be worthwhile, whether on the cover, centerfold, or elsewhere. Black and white or color images would also have a different effect on cost. The Queensland Society Newsletter was lauded as a great example. Our costliest issue is the roster merely on account of size. Another consideration discussed was email publication vs. hardcopy by U.S. Mail. Karen was directed to get estimates for printing color photographs in the newsletter. Electronic versions of the newsletter are not available in order to keep the newsletter as a direct benefit of membership to an FCBS affiliated society. Members present recognized Michaelís and Karenís efforts and initiative with thanks and a round of applause.

Dr. Howard Frank began his report on the Weevil Research Fund by proclaiming the previous three months a landmark time of growth and achievement. The permit requested last December for release of the predator fly was received on May 18. Ron Cave traveled to Honduras in early June and met very good production standards and was able to bring back individuals to raise new generations in our laboratory for later releases. Application for permit to release flies in other county and federal parks has already been made. There is no federal law that regulates biological releases, but these actions often lead to misunderstandings by local authorities and/or federal marshals.

June 29, 2007, was the first release of predatory flies to control the destructive Mexican bromeliad weevil in the state of Florida. It took place at Lake Hodges Park at Odessa, just north of Tampa. The event was documented and reported by The Tampa Tribune with a photograph and good accompanying text. "In all respects, we are getting better!" Dr. Frank was delighted to share with the Council such good news that recent production of lab-raised flies reached 230 last week. Still, more sightings of the weevil and/or its noxious effects were reported in east Orange County, west Orange County and in the southern area of Titusville. Once again, we were advised to use and refer others to the images and descriptions of the Weevil in the FCBSís webpage.

Jay announced that he had received a letter from Al Muzzell who has resigned from the Weevil Committee. Citing his many years of tracking and tackling the infestation of the weevil and the recent release of the fly, Al said he was ready to take a break. The Council unanimously voted thanks to Al for all his many efforts on the part of bromeliad enthusiasts; Jay will write the letter to Al. Bob Neubaur will replace Al as Gainesvilleís second Council representative.

Jay asked for suggestions regarding the Councilís participation in next yearís Conference in Australia. Some options include sponsoring an award, placing an ad in the conference program or providing an exhibit display.

The 2007 Bromeliad Extravaganza seems already to be a success. Jose "Pepe" and Sara Donayre have worked indefatigably to cover all aspects of planning, fund-raising, programming, optimal venue, vendorsí facilities, guest dinner speaker, Rare Bromeliad Auction, etc. The number of auction and dinner reservations keeps growing, but the Donayres are not taking a break yet.

Volunteers are still needed to cover aspects of the dinner and auction, such as organizing and presenting the specimens to the audience, and also to handle record-keeping and actual transactions afterwards.

All members of any member societies are welcome to bring plants to sell at the Membersí Table. Specific data about plants and prices should accompany each plant; Pepe and/or Sara will answer questions on any of the above. Lastly, Pepe was glad to report the Gainesville Society had donate two copies of Victoria Padillaís celebrated volume on bromeliads for the auction at this yearís Bromeliad Extravaganza.

Sara Donayre stated they wished to ask all member societies to book in advance for the dinner reservations. Also, tours to local collections and/or growers will be scheduled, such as Sunshine Ranches (Josefa de Leon), Collen and Bud Hendrix, and others to be announced. The information about the tours will be released in a timely fashion prior to the event. Could we even have an Australian booth at this yearís Bromeliad Extravaganza?

Pepe reiterated the obligation of each member society of the Council to provide donations for the auction in the form of five rare plants, books, art, or other desirable, bromeliad-related objects.

Next yearís event seems off to an early start, too, with Tom Wolfe and Stephen Prins announcing they are looking forward to hosting the 2008 Bromeliad Extravaganza in Tampa.

The Australian book shipment was a success, in spite of some damage en route to about 90 books. All the orders were adequately filled with only a handful of remainders. Replacement copies for damaged ones are already on the way.

The question was raised again about the resale price for the book. For FCBS affiliated societies, it remains at $16.50. Member societies or individuals may price them as they will. Representatives agreed to sell the book at $20.00 at the coming Extravaganza. No percentage of the sales will be withheld.

Another question was whether it would be feasible and/or desirable to manage a printing of this volume in the U.S. Some interest was expressed and a motion was made (Juanís motion, seconded by Carolyn Schoenau) and approved (11 votes) to "take advantage of Karen Andreasí generous offer to oversee and coordinate printing of the Australian book in the United States." Karen cautioned that there are several technical issues to overcome; her initial advice is to continue to order the books (in smaller quantities) directly from Queensland. However, Karen will look further into the matter and report on it at the October meeting in Tampa.

Another available book from Australia, compiled by Derek Butcher, consists of reconciliation of names that clears up some of the name problems. If Bromeliad Society International fails to take it up, Karen said, then FCBS perhaps should. Betsy McCrory concurred, "If BSI does not lead, we will"

Before the last Council meeting, Florida West Coast Society member suggested the need for a repository for records and archival materials of FCBS. Possibilities named included Selby Gardens or an on-line account. There were no volunteers for a committee.

Karen announced that a list of names of speakers and/or program presenters printed in the May newsletter, as a direct result of Nat de Leonís suggestion during meeting last April, in Miami. A motion was made by Betsy McCrory to have a standing rule requiring an updated listing on a quarterly basis. Motion was seconded and duly approved by quorum.

Pepe Donayre showed a beautiful geological specimen acquired to present to Chester Skotak in recognition for his services as speaker at the Extravaganza dinner and auction. The cost was $75.00, and a motion was made, seconded and approved for the expense to be shared equally by the Broward County Bromeliad Society and FCBS.

The Reverse Osmosis watering system at Selby Gardens has been broken for some time now with no plans to fund the cost of replacing it. Consequently the bromeliad collection is suffering. Terry Bert had contacted Jay and brought up concerns for a possible contribution from FCBS. Michael Andres offered to mention this crisis at the upcoming meeting of BSI. Our possible role was tabled until the next meeting.

Carol Wolfe offered to donate to FCBS a number of slide shows he has used in presentations, already in CD form. These could serve as reference material, or as the basis for presentations elsewhere. It was observed that BSI maintains a Reference Library of media material, but no details were available on terms or procedures for use.

Thanks were given to Carolyn and Ron Schoenau for their hospitality and their labors in making such handsome facilities available.

All members present were also invited to visit their bromeliad collection at the greenhouse nearby.

Meeting adjourned by Jay Thurrot at 4:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Juan Espinosa-Almodovar