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New Society Business

Due to the Covid pandemic, Southern Garden History Society has not been able to meet in person since 2019 when we met in Birmingham, Alabama. The officers, Magnolia editors, and board of directors have continued to do the work of the Society, but through this two-year period we have seen the need for adding new language to the bylaws to allow for virtual meetings and teleconferences for the purpose of conducting business. In reviewing the bylaws, we also saw the need to allow more than two committee members when the committee chair deems it appropriate. Scholarship and Awards Committee, under the able leadership of Jeff Lewis, has updated the work of the committee. Additional language specifies that nominations shall be approved by the board. 
Please read all the recommended changes to the bylaws found here. President Perry Mathewes will call a vote to approve these on April 22, 2022, at our annual meeting at Mount Vernon.
Follow Randy Harelson:
Randy Harelson, President (Louisiana) Randy Harelson was born in Macon, GA to parents whose families both came from East Baton Rouge Parish, LA, for many generations. The family moved back to Louisiana when Randy was seven, but always called him their “Georgia peach.” Educated at LSU Lab School and Louisiana State University, Randy moved to Massachusetts in 1974 to teach art in an innovative “integrated arts in education” program in Attleboro Public Schools. A gardener since childhood, he worked at Hill-Roberts Elementary School to develop an “outdoor classroom” of trees, shrubs, and flowers while a full-time art teacher. He later served as a professional designer and assistant horticulturist at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island. Randy’s broad career has included writing and illustrating nine published books, and running a retail nursery in Seagrove Beach, Florida that won the S. J. Blakely Award in 2003. Back home in New Roads, Randy has planted a small arboretum of trees and shrubs both native and imported, documented in Louisiana by 1860. Randy first attended a SGHS annual meeting at Mount Vernon in 2010. The next year his home was included in the Sunday tours at the Baton Rouge meeting. Randy and his husband Richard Gibbs, an architect and gardener, have been members ever since, and Randy joined the board of directors in 2015. At home they care for two acres of gardens, a 500-year-old live oak, the 200-year-old LeJeune House, and a Siamese cat named Miss Priss.

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