This Page is dedicated to preserving the history of our society. The society is one of the oldest on the East Coast. We have had many dedicated people keeping it going and growing over the years. Some of these people are memorialized by our society Special Trophies and Awards given during the annual show. Irene Schwarz, with the help of our Society records and the memories of Hildegarde Howell, Robert Lucas, Ben Berliner and Robert Hunt (when they were alive) provided a short history for these special people. Thank you Irene. I also invite other members to provide interesting bits of history about the society or its members to be posted here. Our history helps to define us and we should have some way to remember it!

NJOS Memorial Awards Honoring the Following Special Members

Endowed monetary award for the Best Phalaenopsis/Doritanopsis.

Leslie Stern had been a president of the North Jersey Orchid Society, President of the Eastern Orchid Congress and the chairman of the 33rd EOC, this having been hosted in 1988 by NJOS. For this event he worked diligently to provide the affair with an amazing lineup of speakers, all luminaries of the orchid world. They included the Hon. Alasdair Morrison from the UK and Dr. Sid Cywes and Mrs. Marlene Cywes from South Aftica, exceptional growers of Disas. This was the first time that this renowned couple had been speakers outside of their own country. Les Stern owned Lionstar Orchids, greenhouses in Morristown, NJ. He was the recipient of numerous AOS awards for his Orchids, and also served on the Membership Committee of the AOS. Every summer, this generous man opened his house, his grounds with swimming pool to NJOS for the picnic/auctions.

Best Specimen

Don Richardson was born in Luton, England . As a boy, he became interested in flowers by wandering through bluebell woods near home. In a nearby village he found a meadow of daffodils near the home of G.B Shaw. Only at age 13 did he enter school but he had already amassed a list of wildflowers which was sent to and accepted at St. Albans Museum. It was in St. Albans where he was introduce to orchids by working at A.F.C. Sanders. He studied fro 3 years at the Royal Botanic gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland where he met his future wife, Peggy. He sailed for the U.S.A. in 1930 and worked for the pharmaceutical magnate G.W. Merck in West Orange, N.J. When Mr. Merck died, he had left his orchid collection to Don. This was later moved to the John Hay Whitney estate in Manhasset, N.Y. where Don worked for 22 years. He was a founder and first president of the Greater New York Orchid Society. Also a Judge Emeritus of the American Orchid Society. The Horticultural Society of New York presented him with a gold medal in 1971, where he was also then named Man of the Year.

Best Paphiopedilum

John B. Lager of Lager & Hurrell in Summit, NJ was one of the very first orchid growers in the US. The business was founded by his father, John E. Lager, a Swedish immigrant who at one time, worked at Kew Gardens in England. John E. arrived in the US in 1816. He met his future wife (John B.s mother while on an orchid hunting expedition in Columbia. John B. Lager built up the business to the point where it was known as THE most exciting orchid business in the country. He was a founder of the North Jersey Orchid Society and was instrumental in introducing NJOS to the Wm. Pitt restaurant in Chatham where meetings were once held. An earlier, smaller Short Hills Mall was the place where the annual shows were held. He is remembered by friends for his generosity in every respect, being lavish with his time and never hesitating to show all comers through the greenhouses. If someone admired a particular plant, often it would be handed t him before he left. Each year he would award a prize to the person who had grown the best Orchid in the NJOS show. The prizes were indeed substantial. In 1966 it was a round trip for two to the WOC in California. First class!

Best Odontoglossum lntergeneric

Louis Heinrich returned from a tour of duty in the Navy following WWII. His next assignment was t be in the Orchid Facility at the Doris Duke Estate. Lou and his wife Betty later moved to Somerville, NJ where they built their own greenhouses. He was on of the prime orchid growers to provide cut flowers to the Wholesale flower Market I New York City, delivering on a weekly basis. In those days the orchid of choice was the Cattleya, used mainly for corsages. Later Lou also grew Cymbidiums and Odontoglossums. Lou was at one time president of the North Jersey Orchid Society. Lou and Betty held annual picnics for any and all members of NJOS at their home. He was never too busy to offer advice to newcomers or anyone with an orchid question. Senior members remember Lou and Betty with great fondness.

Best Dendrobium

Janet was the secretary of the Eastern Orchid Congress. She served on many committees for the AOS, as well as NJOS, GNYOS, and numerous other societies in this area. Janet often reviewed books for the AOS, her last review having been printed in the AOS Bulletin of June, 1988. Another article, which appeared in the January 1987 Bulletin featured her beautful collection of orchid stamps and postcards. When a young woman, and with an irrepressible spirit, she ran away to marry sea captain Hibbard Howe, her devoted husband for many years. Until her death, she was the AOS representative for the North Jersey Orchid Society.

Best Cymbidiurn

Ed Howell, along with his wife Hildegarde, were the friendly and knowledgeable owners of Tewsbury Orchids in Califon, NJ. As a young man, Ed’s father was head gardener for an estate in the Bernardsville area of Somerset Country, NJ., where he and his brothers worked as well. He also ran floral shops growing mostly cut flowers, giving him the opportunity to create exquisite floral arrangements. He had fine training to successfully enter into the exotic and aristocratic world of orchids.