History

1961-The Rose Society of South Africa was formed by some Rose lovers who included Barney (Fred) Ziady, Jack  and Mary Wise, Egmont Behrens, Claude Maynier and Nick Basson. The first President was Professor Fred Ziady.

England 1968: Mary Wise and Herman Buss at the inauguration of the World Federation of Rose Societies
England 1968: Mary Wise and Herman Buss at the inauguration of the World Federation of Rose Societies

1968- Jack and Mary Wise and Nick Basson represented South Africa when it became a founder member of the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) at their inaugural meeting in London.

1969- The Western Cape Rose Society (WCRS) was the first Provincial society formed by Willie Steagemann who was the Chairman and Sid Cywes, Vice Chairman. Dick and Linda Lindner were the instigators of the Rose Trial grounds in Durbanville, Cape Town. The WCRS was instrumental in formulating and publishing the rules for judging Roses adopted by the Federation of Rose Societies when it was formed in 1970. The Natal Rose Society was established soon after the Western Cape Society.

1973- The Northern Rose Society was started in Pretoria.

1974- ROSA members attended Second World Rose Convention in Chicago. Barney (Fred) Ziady appointed Deputy Vice President in charge of General Management till the next World Convention.

1975- Fred Ziady President of ROSA, Sid Cywes and Ludwig Taschner attended the WFRS meeting in Oxford. Fred Ziady was elected as the next President of WFRS and Sid Cywes the Secretary of WFRS for the period 1976 to 1979. South Africa was voted as the next venue to host the next World Convention in Pretoria in 1979.

1979- World Rose Convention held in Pretoria with Fred Ziady as World President. At the Convention Ludwig Taschner appointed as Treasurer of WFRS, Don Austin the Convention Liaison and Fred Ziady as Publications.

This first World Rose Convention held in South Africa was named ROSAFARI and was a great success. It became the starting point for negotiating a new dispensation for all regional rose societies in South Africa. The WCRS and R.O.S.A worked together for the acceptable outcome which culminated in 1982 for the formation of an umbrella organization for all provincial rose societies in South Africa to become known as the FEDERATION OF ROSE SOCIETIES OF SOUTH AFRICA (ROSA). Several provincial rose societies were subsequently set up and became members of the new ROSA.

Des Wright
Des Wright, former WFRS Vice President for Africa

2000- Des Wright was made WFRS Vice President for Africa.

2002- Most successful World Regional Convention held in Somerset West and hosted by WCRS.

2003- Freshwoods, the garden of Peter and Barbara Knox-Shaw was the first garden in South Africa and the first private garden in the world to receive the WFRS Award of Garden of Excellence.

2006- World Rose Convention held in Osaka, Japan. Ludwig Taschner gave a presentation. Sheenagh Harris was appointed Vice President for Africa and was made a member of the Honours committee.

Sheenagh Harris
Sheenagh Harris, former President of the WFRS

2009- The WFRS Convention was held in Vancouver, Canada. Sheenagh Harris was a guest speaker and was made President of the WFRS. Alan Tew was appointed as Vice President for Africa.

Sheenagh Harris launched the concept of a sanctuary for Old Garden Roses in Bedford, to be called the South African Rosarium.

2011- Jackie Kalley replaced Alan Tew as Vice President for Africa.

2012- ROSAFRICA held in Sandton, South Africa, convened by Sheenagh Harris and Di Girdwood under the auspices of Gold Reef Rose Society. This World Rose Convention was a great success.

Sheenagh Harris was appointed Editor of WRNews and continued as a member of the Honours committee. Jackie Kalley and Sheenagh Harris received the Literary Award for their book, Veld, Vlei and Rose Gardens.

2015- WFRS World Convention held in Lyon, France. Rae Gilbert, President of the Heritage Rose Society was awarded Garden of Excellence for her private garden, Bosky Dell. Jackie Kalley received the Literary Award for her book, Old Rose- Survival and Revival and Sheenagh Harris was moderator for some lectures, cut the ribbon for the opening of the art exhibition and received a Flore Divinity medal from the Societe Francaise des roses. Sheenagh continued as the WRN editor and remained on the Honours committee.

Rae Gilbert is appointed Vice President for Africa. Ludwig Taschner was one of five distinguished rosarians to be inducted into the brotherhood of the ‘Compagnons de Beaujolais’ .