The Camellia Club of Mobile


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The present Camellia Club of Mobile Inc. began over eighty years ago. In the late 1930's there were a number of Mobile businessmen who were so interested in their hobby of growing camellias that they were proudly displaying their beautiful blooms In their offices, show windows and building lobbies. In late 1939 and early 1940 these gentlemen decided to organize and form the Men's Camellia Club of Mobile. This new Club held its first Camellia Show early In 1941.

The purpose of the Club was, and still is, to promote interest in camellias, including providing information on growing them, and holding a free annual Camellia Show for the public to enjoy these delightful flowers. There was no competition or judging in the early Shows; exhibitors just enjoyed showing off the results of their work. Murphy High School was the venue for many of the early Shows, often with thousands of blooms on display.

The first Club President was Dr. R. M. Shackleford, the annual dues were $5.00 per member, and just prior to 1953 the Club was incorporated as a non-profit organization. About 1968 the Men's Camellia Club of Mobile changed its name to the Camellia Club of Mobile, Inc. The Club now awards trophies for the best blooms on exhibit, but after forty-seven Presidents and over eightyty years, our dues are STILL $5.00 per member and we are still, naturally, a non-profit organization.

Several members who founded the Club in 1940 were among those camellia enthusiasts who formed the American Camellia Society which held its first Annual Meeting in Mobile in 1946 at the Admiral Semmes Hotel. The ACS held their Annual Meeting again at the Admiral Semmes Hotel in 1953, and in 1985 the ACS members were once again welcomed to Mobile by its "older brother" Club. Two past Presidents of the Camellia Club of Mobile, Mr. Hoyt W. Lee and Mr. Charles R. Butler, also served as Presidents of the American Camellia Society.

For over eighty years many people have been introduced to the beauty of the camellia, Alabama's State Flower, through visiting the Camellia Shows held each January by our Club, first at Murphy High School, then Fort Whiting Auditorium, the Municipal Auditorium. the Springdale Mall Plaza, Colonial Bel Air Mall, and finally, a change to our present venue at the Shriner's Abba Temple. We hope you enjoy our shows as much as we enjoy presenting them.



Page last modified 05/06/2022