2020 marks the 60th Anniversary of the organizational
meeting of the Bowling Green Rose Society. 2021
marks the 60th anniversary of the first meeting of
The information below was obtained from the archives
at the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky
"The Bowling Green Rose Society was
organized on 28 November 1960. At a meeting on
9 January 1961, Hayward Brown was
elected its first president. The Society received
in the American
Society on 1 January 1961. Its
show was held at the
First Christian Church on 30 September
it has customarily held annual shows
In addition, it holds in-club
competitions and members participate in American
holds monthly meetings,
issues a monthy newsletter,
and sponsors the Bowling Green Rose
Society Graduate Horticulture Scholarship at WKU."
several months of research in 2010, an Anniversary Edition
of Rosebuds was prepared by Mary Ann Hext. Click
here to read
more about BGRS history.
May 22, 2021, the Bowling Green Rose Society
will hold its 57th
rose show. The first show was held on September 30, 1961. Mr. and
Mrs. Paris Pillion won Queen of the Show with Kaserine Auguste
Victoria. Due to extreme spring weather, the rose shows were
cancelled in 2007, 2013 and 2018. The 2020 rose show
was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Alina Lane, Society Editor of the Park City Daily News, wrote a
sterling article about the show. She reported that: “Twenty-four
exhibitors placed 178 entries in the rose show Saturday which local
and out-of-town judges termed ‘one of the loveliest shows they had
ever seen.’ The guest register listed 175 guests from Bowling Green
and surrounding areas who called between the hours of 1:00 and 8:00
p.m. at the First Christian Church.” This event, which was the first
major effort by the newly formed Bowling Green Rose Society, remains
to this day the largest annual event on the society’s calendar.
The effort to form a rose society in Bowling Green had begun at 7:30
p.m. on November 28, 1960, when a group of approximately 25 men and
women met at Snell Hall on the Western Kentucky University Campus.
These interested rose growers heard a talk on roses given by Mr.
Charles Dawson of Louisville. (Ed. Note: Mr. Dawson was the author
of “Uncle Charlie’s Corner,” a regular feature in The American Rose
for a number of years.) Mr. Haywood Brown was chosen as temporary
The first regular meeting of the new local society was convened on
January 9, 1961, again in Snell Hall. Mr. Brown was elected the
group’s first president. The treasury began with a balance of
$29. As noted above, it was less than a year later that the first
rose show was presented.
The original ten members enrolled at this first meeting were: Dr. T.
O. Hall; Mrs. Earl Rabold; Mr. Claude Rose; Mr. Paris Pillion; Mrs.
Richard Peete; Mrs. J. C. McCubbin; Mrs. Edith Kolair; Mrs. Opal
Kirk; Mrs. Tena Borders; and Mrs. John Collet.
Some of this information came from a program presented to the
Bowling Green Rose Society on September 10, 1994, by Jim Bennett and
some from Paris Pillion, the only living charter member of the BGRS.