Article 08/06 : Ken Woods - Life Member.
It was with a good deal of pride that Andy Staelens moved a motion at February's Annual General Meeting that Ken Woods should be made a Life Member of the Bromeliad Society of Australia Inc. The motion was duly seconded and adopted by all members present at the meeting.
Ken has been very active in the Society since becoming a member in 1982. His interest in bromeliads goes back beyond that year and he has been very much involved in the developing and hybridising of bromeliads in addition to the extensive work he has done in the world of Tillandsias. He is a member of the 'Tilenuts' group which comprises Tillandsia lovers from all over the country and which meets regularly in Albury, NSW, every two years at Easter.
Not long after joining the society, Ken's developing strengths were recognised and he found himself a member of the Committee where he served for three terms. That of course led to his being elected Vice-President for five terms, with a natural progression to the top of the ladder where he has served as President for six terms, not including the present. It was during one of his terms of office as President that he and the late Barry Williams organised the 6th National Bromeliad Conference which was held in Sydney in 1991.
Three years before the conference, many members of the Society were very busily working on doing all the writing and preparations for the production of the Society's handbook "Growing Bromeliads". When it came to assembling a word or two on Tillandsias, Ken was the obvious choise and so we have Chapter 13.
Of course, a society such as ours does not just limp along from week to week, ending up with a meeting of members on the second Saturday of each month. There is work going on all the time and, as President, a lot of time and effort go into the Autumn and Spring Shows which are put on every year. All Presidents have to face up to this task and Ken was no exception. At the same time attending to his business interests and spending no small amount of time studying to become a Bromeliad Judge at a three-year Judging School conducted by those acknowledged experts Bill Morris and Bob Larnach, in conjunction with the Bromeliad Society of N.S.W. Ken's success in qualifying as a judge was followed some years later by notification in 2003 from the Bromeliad Society International (BSI) USA, of that Society's recognition of his status as a BSI Accredited Judge and by awarding him the Society's Judge's Badge. Ken is widely known as an excellent judge and he is asked to officiate at many shows and displays. And it has to be remembered that, while all this is happening, so also is the day to day work of keeping the Society on track.
Also Ken prepared and, after a lot of research, presented a history of the Bromeliad Society of Australia Inc. at the Society's 40th Birthday celebrations in 2003.
Mention also has to be made that Ken was not left behind in the electronics age. It is not really only for kids and juveniles. Us oldies contribute our bit to it all and Ken is up there with the rest of us. Computers, the Internet, e-mails and digital cameras all form part of the working of the modern Society and our BSA Website (Bromeliads in Australia) is mainly due to the work of Vice President Ian Hook and Dione Fourie. As the instigator, in setting up of the Web site, veting images, and contributions, Ken has been an active participant and some part of the success it has achieved can be attributed to Ken's efforts, along with Ian and Dion's expert knowledge.
So, a big welcome to Ken to the world of Life Members.