The Board of Directors of Directors of the Society for Louisiana Irises selected Aline M. Arceneaux of Lafayette, Louisiana, as the 1990 recipient of the Distinguished Merit Award.
In an organization such as our Society, there are many unsung heroes who have kept the organization going for these past 50 years. Such members usually get little recognition for all their work. They are not the president nor a nationally-known hybridizer; they work on many committees without being the chairman. They cooperate by entering shows, but seldom win many blue ribbons and never possibly win Queen of Show. They do the busy work like keeping up with the membership and seeing to it that everyone’s job gets done. They do the dirty work like arranging for meeting rooms and duplicating handouts, and they do what we call the moron work of counting ballots, pasting labels and stuffing envelopes. They are the ones we call when we need information, or when we need something done.
I think this describes Aline, who grew up with this Society and worked with it for 40 years. Her father was a charter member and her mother worked with the Society until her death. Two of her uncles were organizers of the Society and one was an early president. Aline served as the Secretary-Treasurer for ten years, during the time when this office included many other jobs – such as planning the annual meeting, taking care of most of the show details and editing and mailing out the newsletter. She was responsible for setting up the newsletter on a quarterly basis. Most recently, when no one member wanted to take on all these jobs, Aline agreed to return as Treasurer. She also continued to keep up with the membership roster, mail out newsletters and do all the jobs not covered by another office.
Aline has been almost a permanent member of the Board and is one of Dorman Haymon’s “cabinet members” for planning the activities for the 1992 annual meeting. It is because of unsung heroes like Aline Arceneaux that the Society for Louisiana Irises has survived for 50 years.
The Distinguished Merit Award was first bestowed in 1988, and is presented to a person or organization that has promoted Louisiana irises in some outstanding manner. The 1988 Award went to Marie Caillet and the 1989 Award was presented to Charles W. Arny Jr.