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Quarryhill’s McNamara to speak at SIR #53

The speaker for the SIR Branch #53 May 22 luncheon will be Bill McNamara, executive director of Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen, one of the world’s pre-eminent Asian botanical gardens.

For the past 25 years, McNamara has ventured out each fall into the mountains of China, Japan and India in search of plants. Working closely with Chinese and Japanese botanists, he and his international colleagues are pursuing their mutual goals of research and conservation.

McNamara was in high school when he first read stories about British plant hunters. He remembers telling friends he was born a century too late, mistakenly thinking that the days of exploration were over. But after graduating from UC Berkeley in 1975, he left for Asia and his extensive hunt was on. In 1987, McNamara joined Quarryhill and was made executive director in 2007. Over his long career he has been a field associate of the California Academy of Sciences, honorary researcher of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, associate member of the Chinese-American Committee for the Flora of China, international advisor for Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and curator of the Crombie Arboretum. He holds a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology and is also a member of the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum Horticulture Advisory Committee.

SIR Branch #53 meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Oakmont East Recreation Center, 7902 Oakmont Drive. Social hour starts at 11 a.m. with lunch at noon catered by Cafe Europe. Any Oakmont men interested in attending this presentation and/or membership should contact Vic Grail at 539-9574 or Dave McCuan at 539-3028.

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