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MEMORIAL ROSE GARDEN RE-NAMED

Well done, Joe Mocsan.

Our community gives you your just desserts next weekend when the rose garden in Chippawa Park is re-named The Joseph L. Mocsan Memorial Rose Garden.

How fitting is that! I can’t help but think the roses will be even better looked after now that you will be there with them in name and spirit, not so much a guardian angel but a guardian gardener. How comforting is that!

No doubt about it, you did more than anyone to foster a rose culture in the city that is known as Canada’s Rose City. You went out of your way to encourage friends, even strangers, to grow roses in their residential gardens.

You went out of your way to offer advice about how to properly prune a hybrid tea. You went out of your way to provide books and periodicals, often paying for them out of pocket, to help gardeners become better rose growers. You went out of your way to be mentor to many.

You were part of the four-member committee given responsibility for finding a rose that would become the city’s official rose. You and the committee members — Peter Boyce, Gord Rendall and Wayne Rohaly — certainly rose to the challenge, picking out a beauty. A few thousand City of Welland rose bushes can now be found in public and private gardens in our community.

You were a formidable competitor in the rose show sponsored by the Welland Horticultural Society over the years.

Unforgettable was the sight of Joe Mocsan making his way toward Seaway Mall’s centre court, two or three pails in hand with cut roses ready to be entered in the competition. Your timing was classic — close to entry deadline time so that other growers were always left wondering: Where is Joe Mocsan? Will he be taking part in today’s show? Will I have better chance to win a trophy or two if he isn’t here?

You took pride in and found it an honour to organize the Rose Festival’s rose show for many years. Despite having roses from the preceding day’s horticultural society show and many, many flowers in your garden to cut and enter, you never did if memory serves me correctly. It was a matter of principle for you — a rose show chair should never submit entries in his or her own show, you believed.

Friendships were important to you. Garden friendships involved many, many people. But you nurtured and tended relationships with people from your profession, teaching; people at the golf course, Port Colborne Golf and Country Club in particular; people at the local camera and colour slide club, and many others.

I still have mementoes of our friendship — a book about old English roses that you wanted me to have, a container of powdered sulphur that you dropped off to use as a topical treatment on disease-affected leaves when need arose and three copies of rose-evaluating booklets published by the American Rose Society, all of them paid for out your pocket, as you did for others who received it.

Your children Paul, Bill, Sandy and Nancy and grandchildren are proud of you and your legacy.

“This is truly the ultimate recognition that can be bestowed upon my father,” Sandy said in an e-mail to me just the other day.

Bill wrote: “My father was very proud of his Welland roots. A rose garden bearing his name is a perfect legacy that recognizes and honours his civic pride and all of the things that were important to him — family, gardening and in particular, roses.”

They and many others will be in Chippawa Park on Saturday, June 9 when the re-naming ceremony is held. That beautiful rose garden will be forever associated with the city’s pre-eminent rosarian as its name becomes the Joseph L. Mocsan Memorial Rose Garden.

How fitting is that!

joe.barkovich.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk



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