History

Bonsai Societies of Florida

A short history

        The first bonsai club to be formed in Florida was the Bonsai Society of Miami in 1964. Suncoast Bonsai Society
of the Tampa area followed in 1965. In 1967 the Gold Coast Bonsai Society in Ft. Lauderdale area was founded. In 1969 two additional clubs were formed the Pensacola Gulf Coast Bonsai Society and the Lighthouse Bonsai Society located in Boca Raton.

September 15, 1973 in Tampa, delegates from 10 established Florida Bonsai Societies held an organized meeting forming the now Bonsai Societies of Florida (BSF). The BSF was formed out of necessity because these early clubs wanted to host an International Bonsai Congress and the only way to do it was to get practice. So the first Florida
State Bonsai convention was organized and held in 1973 by the BSF. On July 2nd - 6th 1975 in Miami the BSF hosted the Bonsai Congress International (BCI). Since then the BCI has returned twice for their annual convention
and in 1993 it was held in conjunction with the World Bonsai Friendship Federation's World Bonsai Convention.

The Bonsai Societies of Florida, now consisting of 28 member societies, study groups and societies at large, was the
first statewide bonsai organization in the United States. When the individuals in California wanted to form a similar organization they looked to the BSF for help and guidance. The same was true when the delegates of various clubs in
the southeastern United States wanted to form a regional organization the Southeastern Bonsai Federation covering some 10 states.

The Bonsai Societies of Florida loge tree is a double trunked Bald Cypress or Taxodium Distichum collected by
Joseph N. Samuels the BSF President in Palm Beach County on New Year's Day 1970. The printed logo of the tree was originally created by a former member of BSF and it symbolizes the sturdiness of the Bald Cyprus very much a tree
of Florida, with the Florida sun (in oriental style with two rings) as the background denoting the ability to See Through
in the spirit of Wabi and Sabi.