president's welcome - henriAnne de briey

Dear rose friends from all around the world,

At first we will look at a little flash back on our website story which started 20 years ago with Ethel Freeman (WFRS Past President) along with Milly Weyerman from Switzerland. They had the brilliant idea to create a website to compliment the WFRS Rose Directory (our actual WRN ) which was produced each year.

Although Ethel was in the computer business at that time she didn’t have any experience with websites. Consequently, she asked Jolene Adams who was involved with computers at Berkley to set it up. That was the beginning of the website in 1998 when Jolene, Milly and Ethel designed what the WFRS website should look like and it went live in 1999. Ethel was in charge of providing the ongoing information to Jolene who administered the site. At that time technologies were not as user friendly as today. In 2000 Ethel took over the full operation of managing the website. She redesigned it in 2007 and continued as webmaster until 2018 in Copenhagen where she finished her term in office.

The WFRS can be very grateful to Ethel for her long term work, bringing all her energy to drive the website and collecting data by chasing gently people for information. In my capacity as WFRS President I would like to take the opportunity to warmly thank again Ethel for all  she did as webmaster during the last 20 years.

While celebrating our 50 glorious in Copenhagen in July 2018 it was time to rethink completely the website structure in accordance with the new technologies and the digital transformation of the world in terms of communication and data management.

Paul Hains (WFRS VP - Australasia) accepted the challenge and thanks to a huge amount of work the new website with a complete new graphic appearance is now active. The aim of a website is to include relevant information which you can use regularly to make your rose life different. It is vital that the information is relevant so that the content is high quality and this is obviously the responsibility of everyone. So please, let’s us be reactive when Paul asks for nice pictures, roses stories , trial results etc …  Thanks Paul for your energy and creativity. It is critical to keep updated with our new mode of social media communication and you have made it superb. Well done!

Dear rose lovers, if you are not yet a member of a rose Society the website is a very good tool to find the best place to join the one closer to you, to share information and to make new rose friends.

Kind regards

Henrianne de Briey


This sumptuous hardback volume commemorates the Golden Jubilee of the WFRS. The 180 pages delve into the Federation’s fascinating archives, from its founding in London on 4th July 1968 to the present. The book explores the triumphs and achievements of an organisation whose charitable aim is to promote the sheer beauty and allurement of the rose around the world. Illustrated throughout with many splendid colour and black and white images, it celebrates past Conventions, International Trials, Gardens of Excellence, and much more.

The book is a must for any rose enthusiast and would make an ideal gift.


£20.00 (twenty pounds sterling)

Plus, postage and packing charges:

United Kingdom £4.00

Europe £15.00 (By Air)

Rest of World £22.00 (By Air) or £13.00 (By Surface Mail)

We are unable to process payments by credit or bankers’


Please contact us with your requirements, and we will send

you details on how payment can be made by International

Bank draft.

Email: info@worldrose.org

Click  here to download the Errata for the 50 Golden Years Book



The World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) was founded in 1968 in London, England by representatives from the rose societies of Australia, Belgium, Israel, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Great Britain and the United States of America. Its stated purpose was to hold international rose conferences and act as a clearing house for rose research.

At its first conference in New Zealand in 1971, Canada, India, Japan and Switzerland were also present. The objectives set out in the constitution adopted then still hold sway today.

They are:

  • To encourage and facilitate the interchange of information about and knowledge of the rose between national rose societies
  • To coordinate the holding of international conventions and exhibitions
  • To encourage, and where appropriate, sponsor research into problems concerning the rose
  • To establish common standards for judging rose seedlings
  • To assist in coordinating the registration of rose names
  • To establish a uniform system of rose classification
  • To grant international honours and awards
  • To encourage and advance international cooperation on all matters concerning the rose

Ambitious and lofty goals! Some have been met and others have been more illusive to achieve, especially when dealing with 40 very independent rose societies.

what we do

To date there have been 18 World Rose Conferences, usually held at three year intervals. The next conference will be Thursday 21st October to Thursday 28th October  2021 , hosted by the National Rose Society of Australia. In the intervening years regional conferences are held.

The WFRS gives awards to outstanding roses and to stars of the rose world. We also honour outstanding rose gardens and rose books.

We are working to encourage common standards for judging new seedling roses, and we show the current international trials winners on our website.

The WFRS facilitates the exchange of information about the rose. Every national rose society knows about roses in their own country. They know the history, where and when roses bloom, the most favoured varieties, rose shows, trials, conventions, great rose gardens, nurseries and hybridisers. To make this information more readily available around the world, the WFRS maintains contact and event information for each member national rose society on our website and publishes World Rose News several times a year.


2003 - Mr. Richard Balfour (Dick) (deceased) - Great Britain

2003 - Baroness Lily de Gerlache de Gomery (deceased) - Belgium

2009 - Mr. David Ruston  (deceased)  - Australia


1968 - Baroness Lily de Gerlache de Gomery - Belgium

1971 - Raymond Allen - United States of America

1974 - Frank Bowen - Great Britain

1976 - Fred Ziady - South Africa

1979 - David Gilad - Israel

1981 - Lily de Gerlache de Gomery - Belgium

1983 - Richard Balfour - United Kingdom

1985 - Vincent Gioia - United States of America

1988 - Susan Begg - Argentina

1991 - David Ruston - Australia

1994 - Ethel Freeman - Canada

1997 - Helga Brichet - Italy

2000 - Kenneth Grapes - Great Britain

2003 - Thomas Cairns - United States of America

2006 - Gérald Meylan - Switzerland

2009 - Sheenagh Harris - South Africa

2012 - Steve Jones - United States of America

2015 - Kelvin Trimper - Australia