Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society.
Daytona Beach may be best known for its NASCAR racing history and a wide expanse of white, sandy beach fronting the Atlantic Ocean that is firm enough for automobile traffic, but it is also the home of The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society (FECBS). This club was formed as a "spin-off " from the Seminole Bromeliad Society (which, in turn spun off from the Central Florida Bromeliad Society) by a group of bromeliad enthusiasts in the Daytona Beach area who didn't want to drive the 100 mile round trip distance to Sanford for the Seminole meetings. The first FECBS meeting was held on June 22, 1993 and took place under shelter of the ruins of an old sugar mill at a local park in Port Orange. Membership at that first meeting, attended by 23 local enthusiasts, elected Art Hyland (deceased) of Orange City as their first president. Art was a retired school teacher and commercial grower who had a particular interest in the Nidularium Genus and contributed articles to the BSI Journal and the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies newsletter. Soon, the club moved to a more permanent location several miles to the north in Daytona Beach in what was formerly a 1930's vintage home. This house, the Wm. A. Finney Garden Center, was deeded by its owner to a consortium of local garden clubs who share in its ownership and upkeep.
A monumental event in the club's early history took place in 1995, when 6 large boxes of plants arrived from the late John Anderson of Corpus Christi, Texas along with his best wishes for the young organization. Many of these plants were collected by John himself and all were eagerly adopted by club members to establish their own collections. Descendants of those John Anderson plants still turn up a club sales and raffles and are greatly admired.
One of the first projects undertaken by the newly formed group was the development of a unique insignia or emblem for the club. To this end, a commercial artist was commissioned to draft several possibilities--for a fee which at the time seemed an extravagant amount, but today appears to have been a good investment. The top three choices were presented to the membership, put to a vote and the drawing that you see above was selected. This emblem represents a stylized Vriesea in bloom and can be seen on the last page of each month's issue of the Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society newsletter.
One of the favorite activities of FECBS is field trips to club members' homes and gardens. Some club members have extensive bromeliad collections incorporated into their landscape. The picture was taken at a recent Club meeting that was held at the home of Phil and Betty Dollar in Deland, Fl.