About Kona Orchid Society
Kona Orchid Society
After a series of informal meetings, the Kona Orchid Club held its first organizational meeting on September 4, 1985. Presiding as temporary chairman was Maxine Evens. As may of the members lived in the Palisades area and the meeting was held at the Palisades Recreational Center, the name adopted was Keahole-Kona Orchid Club. The constitution and by-laws were adopted at this meeting as well.
There were 11 charter members: Beverly & John Aikele, Lloyd Blomquist, Maxine Evans, Jan Curtis, Molly Esteralada, Gay & Bill Glover, Madge Martin. Maxine McArthur, and Dave Wallace. Tom Kadooka was advisor to the club the first year of operation. He and his wife, Evelyn Kadooka, were made honorary members in 1986.
The first slate of officers was: Maxine Evans (President), Dan Wallace (Vice President), Beverly Aikele (Secretary), and Lloyd Blomquist (Treasurer). The club has held meetings continuously since September 1985 until the onset of COVID-19 in January of 2020.
In 1986, the Club held its first “mini” Orchid Show, displaying some 75 plants for the Kona Coffee Festival at Hale Halewai. With Christmas of 1986, the Club began its community service by participating in the Kona Outdoor Circle “Festival of Trees”, decorating an orchid Christmas Tree that was purchased and displayed at the Mauna Lani Hotel. During this same year, the meeting place was moved to the Kona Outdoor Circle’s Education Center.
In 1988, the Club had 47 members and decided to change the name to Kona Orchid Club due to the membership being distributed from North to South Kona.
Membership reached 60 by the end of 1989 and peaked at 140 in 2016. The club held a flower show in conjunction with the Kona Outdoor Circle’s “Pua Plantasia” plant sale, displaying 90 flowering orchids at the Old Airport Park.
In 1990, the Kona Orchid Club became and educational, 501(A) corporation. It held its first independent orchid show at the Lanihau Center in March with a display of 190 flowering orchids. This event was the clubs first money raising project that netted about $500 from plant sales along with the sales of Larry Sanchez’s “dye-transfer” orchids prints. By the end of the year, membership had reached 80.
In 1992 the membership unanimously voted to create a perpetual trophy for “Grower of the Year” in the name of Larry Blomquist, who passed away in 1991.
In 1994 the club first participated in the Hilo Orchid Show with a table display and continued to participate each year henceforth. During that time members have received AOS awards for their plants and the club has received awards for its displays.
In 1996 the club held it’s show and sale on Mother’s Day weekend and the event turned out to be very popular and the highest profits thus far. The club also started committee meetings where the club constitution and bylaws were rewritten and the name was changed to Kona Orchid Society.
In 1997 KOS (Kona Orchid Society) was the first Hawaiian orchid society to produce a newsletter with color photos and had mastered the art of day trip to visit local nurseries. A budget committee was formed and by 1998 the society would have a good financial footing with an official budget, savings plan and internal controls for resource allocation.
2000 brought the creation of the Kupuna award given out the annual Christmas Banquet, to honor member(S) who have contributed to the society over an extended period of time. The first honorees chosen by the board were Bob and Maggie McLean.
Also, in 2000 the Steve Skiein’s had 2 orchids awarded at the Mother’s Day Sale and Show by the American Orchid Society.
2019 The society saw its most successful Mother’s Day Sale and Show to date with both attendance and amount of money grossed.
Contributors: Lloyd Blomquist, 1991; Bob Zeller, 1997; Pauline Amarino, 2001; Sandra Scarr, 2002; Whitney Steele and Jan Rae, 2022.