Wednesday, September 9, 2009

IPA Meeting in Montclair California - April 2009

By Tom Harper Reprinted by permission of the IPA Journal
MONTCLAIR, Calif. – Phalaenopsis fanciers who attended the meeting of the Southern California region during the weekend of April 4 were treated to a historical reminder of the birth of the International Phalaenopsis Alliance. Three of the four originating members were on the agenda – Bob Gordon, Carlos Fighetti and Tom Harper.
Gordon, Fighetti, Harper and the late Arnie Linsman met in San Francisco in the early months of 1990 for a Phalaenopsis-buying dream trip. Their plan was to drive to Los Angeles and visit every Phalaenopsis nursery along the way. It did not take them long to discuss the idea of an organization devoted to the genus. By the time they arrived in LA, they had the basics of IPA in their minds. All they had to do was make their dream a reality.
That happened in April 1990 when they joined other Phalaenopsis growers in Mt. Laurel, N.J., for the Delaware Orchid Council’s speaker’s day, which was devoted to Phalaenopsis that year. They shared their vision with some of the other growers, and IPA was born.
Gordon served as an ambassador for the then-young group in speaking engagements to orchid societies around the country and authored a series of books on Phalaenopsis culture. Fighetti served as the alliance’s first president. Harper is also a past-president and currently is first vice president.
The Southern California meeting was held at Norman’s Orchids as part of Norman Fang’s annual open house. Fang recently was appointed regional director.
Fighetti kicked the lecture program off with a PowerPoint presentation entitled “The Other Phalaenopsis Species.” These species are infrequently seen, but add a uniqueness and beauty to any collection.
Gordon livened up the remainder of the morning with his unique brand of enthusiasm. He shared his knowledge about Phalaenopsis culture in his presentation, “Getting The Best From Your Phalaenopsis.” The audience responded with questions.
Harper spoke in the afternoon portion of the program, giving a PowerPoint presentation on the “Development of Red Phalaenopsis.” He began with an in-depth look at those species contributing to red breeding and finished with some speculation about how Harlequin Phalaenopsis potentially can be the breakthrough in red breeding due to the intense color saturation produced from the Phal. Golden Peoker genetics.
Afterward, a roundtable discussion was held to answer questions from the audience. Basic cultural questions were again addressed and advice provided by the panel of experts, which included the speakers for the day, Fang and Carri Raven-Riemann, director of the New England Region and also a past IPA president.
During a brief lunch break, an auction was held to raise funds for Phalaenopsis, the quarterly magazine of IPA. Harper served as auctioneer and led the lively group in raising $1,300.
Barbara Noe, one of a group of founding members and the second vice president of IPA, also attended the meeting to lend support and a helping hand in the festivities.

Tom Harper is first vice president of the International Phalaenopsis Alliance and director of its Southeast Region. He also is one of the four founders of the alliance, a past president and is an American Orchid Society judge. 9373 Clovercroft Road, Franklin, Tenn. 37067-8131. 615 771-2755.