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Midyear 2023 President’s Message

A total of 122 delegates attended the Italy congress (47 from Europe and UK, 30 from the US, 25 from Oceania, 15 from Japan, and 5 from China). Participants to Pre-congress and Postcongress were beyond expectations, with 92 and 91 respectively. Travel restrictions impeded a larger participation by Chinese delegates. Proceedings and Congress Book (“Splendor of Italian Camellias”) can be downloaded from the home page of the ICS website, here. A report will be published in the forthcoming ICS journal.

Professor Tanaka edited in the record time of 6 months a fundamental text on sasanquas, leading an international team made by Sueo Takano (Japan), Gianmario Motta (Italy), Caroline Bell (GB), Yves Chapel (France), Pilar Vela (Spain), Zhonglang Wang (China). The book, with texts in English, Chinese and Japanese, illustrates 300 cultivars, and can be ordered from the ICS secretary, Anke Koschitz, or Professor Tanaka. So far, ICS has already cashed £2,323 from selling the book. I encourage all of you to present (and sell) the book during the forthcoming Sasanqua shows.

Otomo-Haydon Research Fund has a new chair, namely Mrs Celeste Richard (US), who kindly accepted. Let me profoundly thank Herb Short, who has chaired Otomo-Haydon Research Fund for so many years and make my best wishes to Celeste.

ICS is an American nonprofit organization. Hence, financial management ideally should be in the US, which also has the less strict rules on nonprofit organizations. Celeste Richard (US) installed as a signatory on the Morgan Stanley account (Otomo-Haydon Research Fund); in parallel, Clare Million (UK) and Forrest Latta (US) will deal with UK accounts. Let me profoundly thank all of them.

Donations have reached £23,168 equivalent to 29,440 USD, coinciding with the objective of 30,000 USD. Donations came from Europe (86%), Japan (9%), Oceania (4%) and USA (1%). Let me thank all donors from the bottom of my heart. In fact, ICS will publish the next journal without allocating Otomo and research funds. Donations are still open as shown on Donate to ICS page. I guess that these donations are deductible for the US members.

Sadly, Shigeo Matsumoto passed away on June 23rd, 2023. He has been a pillar of ICS. He helped in developing gardens of excellence in Spain and Japan (especially Oshima) and authored charming papers on the ICJ. Let me mention some of them: “Camellia Tour to Korea” (2010 and 2011), “Camellia Pilgrimage To Galicia” (2007) “Riddle of the Leverkusen 'Masayoshi' is Solved” (2004), and “The Higo Way of Making Camellia Bonsai” (2001). The Japanese Camellia Society is preparing a full obituary for him.

Gianmario Motta
ICS President

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