About Honolulu Orchid Society Judging

During World War II, there were no meetings and orchid shows. After the War, judging at shows was done by knowledgeable orchidists who were chosen by the President of the Society. The first trophy judging took place during the Honolulu Orchid Society Show in 1949 at which time trophies for the “Best of Show” and various other categories were given. Judging was done by knowledgeable orchidists chosen by the Show Committee. 

In 1951, an Awards Committee was established and Walter Kashinoki was appointed as Chairman. His committee consisted of Lin Sung Loo, secretary; Yoshito Inouye, Chiyoichi Kido and Glenn Yamada. Judging rules and regulations were set up and a panel of qualified judges was selected. The early judging was patterned after the Royal Horticultural Society’s system of judging. This method was to nominate a plant worthy of consideration and voting was done by ballot. If a nominated plant received a certain percentage, the plant received an award. 

Among the qualified judges in 1951 were William Kirch, Ichiro Iwasaki, Harry Tagawa, Goichi Miwa, Kiyoshi Ito, John Noa, Milton Warne, Rokuro Urata, George Ing, Tadao Kazumura, Takeshi Kido, Dr. Francis Hoshino, Alex Chang, Toshiaki Tanaka, Masatoshi Miyamoto, Frank Tatsumura and Wilfred Yoshida. As this list shows, there were many judges of international fame in this group. 

Judging for award certificates was held on June 15, 1951, and the first plant to receive an Award of Merit Certificate from the Honolulu Orchid Society Judges was Renantanda Jack Warne ‘Sunset’ owned by Kodama Orchid Nursery. The first First Class Certificate was awarded to Yoshito Inouye for his Dendrobium Diamond Head Beauty ‘Crimson Glory’. The first Cattleya to receive an Award of Merit was Blc. Myophia ‘Hardesty’, owned by T. Tomiyasu. The first Dendrobium to receive an Award of Merit was Den. Dark Victory ‘Conklin’ owned by Dean Conklin. Both Awards of Merit were given on September 11, 1951. 

Since 1951, only twelve plants have received First Class Certificates from the Honolulu Orchid Society Judges. Besides Den. Diamond Head Beauty ‘Crimson Glory’, there were Vanda Nellie Morley “George Ing’ owned by George Ing; Blc. Norman’s Bay ‘Hercules’ owned by Harry Tagawa; Den. Manoa Gold ‘Allen’, owned by Kazuo Kamemoto; Den. Norman ‘Pam’ owned by Francis Aisaka; Paph. armeniacum ‘Crater Ridge’ owned by Crater Ridge Orchid on Maui; Angcm. sesquipedale ‘Star of Maui’ owned by Orchid Haven on Maui; V. Yip Sum Wah ‘Flame’ owned by Lea Takafuji; L. tenebrosa ‘Rainforest’ owned by Violet Yamaji; Rlc. Sueno de Amor ‘Lea’ owned by Calvin Kumano; Rnps. Lion’s Splendor ‘Ching Ohana’ owned by Kenneth and Aileen Ching; and Den. stratiotes h.f. album ‘Kazuyuki Oka’ displayed by Pam Waki. The First Class Certificate is the highest honor any plant can receive. Congratulations to the proud owners for displaying such magnificent plants. 

In 1955, Seiji Obata was appointed Awards Committee Chairman. His committee consisted of Mrs. Clarence Chang, Stevenson Ching, Yoshito Inouye, and Wilfred Yoshida. This committee wrote to several judging systems throughout the world. Taking some of the better rules and regulations and incorporating them with their ideas, they initiated the first point scale judging system for the Honolulu Orchid Society. This committee developed the first score sheets ever, for dendrobium and vanda, which were later adopted by other recognized judging systems. One of the basic changes that the Honolulu Orchid Society Awards system made was to give more points to color than form in the spray types of orchids. For this notable effort, Seiji Obata was awarded the 1955 Orchidist of the Year award by the Honolulu Orchid Society. 

Later in the 1960s, a Certificate of Recognition was added. This award is similar to the HCC award of the American Orchid Society except that it is one point higher. Also, in the 1960s, the Honolulu Orchid Society judging system expanded its judging area by adding Hilo and Maui as sub regions. Both of these sub-regions have been discontinued. 

In the 1970s, an award was created for Honorary Judge status. This is the highest honor any Honolulu Orchid Society Judge can receive. Long years of service and participation in judging activities are the prime considerations. Ben Kodama, Sr., Masatoshi Miyamoto, Wallace Otaguro, Milton Warne, Majong Yoshimura, Roy Tokunaga, Melvin Waki, Robert Moffitt and Violet Yamaji have received this honor. 

The Rules and Regulations have changed from time to time due to changing trends. The Awards Committee has kept accurate records of awarded plants and has given hundreds of awards to deserving meritorious plants since 1951. All of the awards are listed in OrchidWiz. The Honolulu Orchid Society Awards are considered to be of high standards and quality and the awarded plants are sought by many orchidists throughout the world. 

The Awards Committee grants several Award Certificates including the First Class Certificate (FCC) which is awarded to any orchid receiving an average of 89.6 or more points; Award of Merit (AM) which is awarded to any orchid receiving an average of 79.6 to 89.5 points; and Certificate of Recognition (CR) which is awarded to any orchid receiving an average of 75.6 to 79.5 points. Other Awards are Certificate of Cultural Merit (CCM), Certificate of Distinctive Character (CDC), and Award of Quality (AQ). 

Any person who desires to have his plant judged may bring his plant to the regular monthly judging session of the Honolulu Orchid Society, to the regular monthly membership meeting of the Aiea Orchid Club or to an Orchid Show which has Honolulu Orchid Society Awards Judging. Most recently, Honolulu Orchid Society judging session is held on the second Saturday of each month at the Lanakila Senior Center. See our Events calendar.

The membership of the Honolulu Orchid Society should be proud of the Awards Committee and the Judging Panel for their excellent work to promote and recognize the most meritorious plants on the island.