Mrs. Royal A.
(Bertie) Ferris, Jr.1906 - 1998
There once was no name better known in AHS than that of Bertie Ferris. It has been fondly said that Bertie was the "Grand Dame of AHS." She became involved with AHS in 1955, and attended her first AHS Convention in 1958. AHS Presidents, Board members, and committee members came to her for advice, and she gave of her time and talent to AHS for over 40 years. In 1963, Bertie was appointed AHS Protocol Committee Chair, a position she held until her death. Bertie worked with the director of the 1964 World Floral Exhibition Display Garden in Austria, and took 100 daylily cultivars to this exhibition.
Bertie served as AHS President in 1969, served as Exhibitions Chair for 12 years, taught Exhibition Judges Clinics all over the country, and had charge of the National Convention clinics for more than 20 years.
In 1970, Bertie was recipient of the AHS Helen Field Fischer Medal. In 1981, she received the Region 6 Service Award. In 1986, she was chosen Texas Garden Club's Woman of the Year.
Bertie was a firm believer in endowment funds, and frequently encouraged people to donate money to the AHS William E. Monroe Endowment Fund. In 1993, the Region 6 Bertie Ferris Youth Endowment Fund was established to honor Bertie, over a decade before AHS renamed an existing youth scholarship fund in her memory. The Region 6 trust was used by youth for AHS sponsored functions approved by their Endowment Fund Committee. After the national youth scholarship fund was named for Bertie, the region dissolved their trust and in 2005 gave AHS over $8,000 in support of youth.
A memorial service was held for Bertie on Friday, February 27, 1998. It was a simple service, and after a short prayer at graveside, everyone sang her favorite song - "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain."
-- Courtesy of the AHS Region 6 Archives and the AHS Archives