Manawatu rosarian John Ford has been honoured with the Frank Penn Memorial Award for service to a local rose society. The award, which is presented annually by the New Zealand Rose Society, recognises outstanding service to one of the local rose societies around New Zealand. In the 54 years the award has been presented, John is the 6th recipient from Manawatu following on from Kee Teo (2021), Peter Elliott (2013), Stuart Pinfold (2005), June Hocking (1996) and Nola Simpson (1984). Nola was John’s aunt and a very well-known rosarian and rose breeder in Palmerston North.
John has been a member of the Manawatu Rose Society since 1980 and was made a life member, along with his wife Chris in 2012. John has served for many years on the committee including two periods as President. “We’re fortunate to have a member of John’s calibre who has made an outstanding contribution to our organisation” says Hayden Foulds, President of the Manawatu Rose Society.
A consulting rosarian for many years, John is very generous with his time and knowledge contributing articles to publications, giving talks and demonstrating rose pruning during the winter months. He along with Chris open up their extensive rose garden near Palmerston North for visits by groups.
A regular exhibitor at the local Manawatu Rose Show, John exhibits roses to a very high standard. He is often found helping out with the many duties that are required to make it a success.
John also represents the Manawatu Rose Society on the International Rose Trial Ground committee and has been the Chairman since 2009.