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Mid-Carolina Camellia Society honors Richard C. Mims

The Columbia Star of Columbia, South Carolina

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The Mid-Carolina Camellia Society is proud to honor past President Richard C. Mims October 22 in the Governor's Garden of the Lace House. A Royal Velvet Camellia will be dedicated to honor him for his tireless service and for sharing and spreading his love of camellias. Members of the society, friends, and guest judges in Columbia for the Fall Camellia Show at the State Fair will enjoy refreshments on the patio of the Lace House and salute Richard and his wife, Katherine, as the camellia is unveiled.

Mims served the society for a decade as president. During his tenure membership increased substantially. He was known to always bring several camellia plants that he would share with attendees. For more than 50 years, Mims has shared his passion for camellias with growers across the state and the country. He has inspired, encouraged, and educated countless South Carolinians as he promoted camellias and camellia culture throughout the southeast. He has continuously demonstrated his love for what is popularly known as "The Queen of the Winter Flowers."

Mims has not only demonstrated outstanding dedication to the Mid-Carolina Camellia Society, but also the Atlantic Coast Camellia Society and the American Camellia Society. In the American Camellia Society he served as direc-tor-at-large, state director, and chairman of the Publication Committee - as well as a member of numerous committees. He has been the editor of the Atlantic Coast Camellia Journal since 2003, writing most of the articles. He has appeared a number of times on Making It Grow, a popular ETV Program.

In 1973 as president of MCCS, Mims, with the late Jack Teague, negotiated the affiliation between the S.C. State Fair to sponsor the annual fall camellia show. This enabled thousands of people each year to view the camellias rather than hundreds. An estimated 20,000 visitors viewed the camellias in the first two-day show.

Mims and his wife have supported and presented informative programs to many camellia societies and garden clubs throughout the country. Both are long-standing ACS accredited judges who have also attended and shown award-winning blooms at shows across the southeast. Mims won the National Flower of the Year - the Arminta Cawood Award— with Tomorrow's Dawn at the American Camellia Society Convention 2003 and again in 2005 with the camellia, Ruffian. Mims was presented the Award of Merit from the Atlantic Coast Camellia Society as "one of the most dedicated and hardest working individuals, promoting camellias and camellia culture throughout the southeast." Mims and his wife have given magnificent prize-wining blooms to countless, organizations and individuals for special occasions such as the USC Administrative Employees Club of which he served as president and the Women of the S.C. General Assembly annual luncheon meetings.

Born in Eutawville, S.C., the son of the late Lucille Rast Mims and Frank Olin Mims, mims married on Oct. 17, 1958, Katherine Virginia Alexander, daughter of the late C. Capers Alexander and the late Mary Abbott Alexander of Batesburg, S.C. They have four children: Dr. Richard C. Mims Jr., Franklin A. Mims, Mary Katherine Hall, David Neill Mims. They also have ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Mims earned his Masters Degree from Furman University. He retired in 1993 as Emeritus Professor of the University of South Carolina having served in various positions through his years there, including director of Payroll, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, director of Advising, director of the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and associate dean of the College of Applied Professional Sciences. Of course, he is a Master Gardener as designated by Clemson, too.

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Original Publication Date: October 16, 2009

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