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AIS: The Sections

In a message dated 1/28/05 11:06:06 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
irismoose@daylily.net writes:

<<  The iris world seems to be sectionalized unlike the daylily and hosta 
 societies. For irises there are "co-operating societies" such as the 
 Reblooming Iris Society, the Society For Japanese Irises, the Siberian Iris 
 Society, etc, which seem to fall under the AIS umbrella.

Bobby, here again I am obliged to comment that this is not accurate. 

AIS contains SECTIONS which are special interest groups which are part of 
AIS. These arose so that persons in AIS especially interested in Medians or 
Siberians or Dwarfs or whatever could work together to have more dialog and whatnot 
on that particular group of Irises and publish a journal devoted to their 

Section membership is something extra that folks can opt for. Sections arose 
out of enthusiasm, with members getting together to meet their own needs. AIS 
recognizes the Sections, and considers them part of the organization. Although 
administratively they are largely independent, they are subsumed into the 
organization, and they support it. At one time AIS membership was required to be 
a member of a Section but that is no longer the case. 

There are also two COOPERATING SOCIETIES associated with AIS. These deal  
with Arils and Arilbreds, and Louisiana Irises, types which grow best in areas 
where other Irises typically grow poorly, and typically may not grow where the 
more usual kinds of irises thrive. So these organizations and their activities 
have to be oriented differently both chronologically and geographically, from 
the groups which deal with the rest of the Genus, which includes AIS. 
Accordingly their association with AIS is and has always been defined in a slightly 
different way.

Many things become less mysterious if one simply consults the appropriate 
sources of information. I encourage anyone interested in discussing AIS to read 
three things. 

First, and most important, the Bylaws of the American Iris Society, which if 
they are not posted on the AIS page should be, but which are available upon 
request from the AIS Secretary, whose mailing address is on the webpage. 

Second, The Golden Anniversary Edition of the Bulletin of the American Iris 
Society, from January 1970, dealing with the history of the organization from 
the beginning, which is available for purchase at modest cost from the Historic 
Iris Preservation Society, that AIS Section which is concerned with 
preservation not only of historic Irises but also historic documents. See the webpage 
at <www.worldiris.com.> or speak to Dorothy at Irisacher@aol.com. This is 
really good reading, critical reading, and I think giving it some attention will 
clear up a whole lot of misconceptions.

Then there is the 75th Anniversary Bulletin from 1995, a less distinguished 
volume than the aforementioned,  but still interesting, especially as it 
includes conbtributions from each of the Sections about their founding. Check with 
the AIS Storefront for availability. That address should also be on the AIS 
webpage <<www.irises.org>>.


Anner Whitehead
Richmond, VA USA

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