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VDA at 90
A fish friend in Germany just sent me a wonderful new book. It is
a 400 + page history of the German aquarium organization of which most of the
societies in Germany are a member. Imagine The Northeast Council Of Aquarium
Societies here in the USA being expanded into a national organization, add
real scientific work, all kinds of local specialty groups and a beautiful
glossy monthly magazine for all members and you would have the VDA.
Killifish are well represented in this history. Hermann Meinken was
one of the leaders of the VDA from the 30's until the 80's, as were Roloff,
Ahl, Arnold, Foersch, Ladiges and others. The book covers the growth of the
organization, its individuals and the hobby. It reports when many of the most
common tropicals were first imported and by whom. It shows incredible photos
of early greenhouse breeding establishments and amazing early 20th century
aquarium/plant shows. Its unbelievable that such a book even exists and at an
It got me wondering why couldn't the AKA do a much smaller version for
its 40th anniversary Convention? Now before everyone jumps down my throat for
putting out an idea without volunteering to do it, let me just present it.
What if the host club this year, instead of trying to have a bigger and
better fish show and bigger and better awards and spending time giving out
all the meaningless awards the AKA now has, what if they spent real time
making a Convention book on the AKA's history? They could collect historical
photos of people, fish, fishrooms, past conventions, shows, collecting trips,
programs etc. They could approach charter members to write their memories of
the AKA and killies. The archive and publication committees could provide
past documents that deserve notice. Individuals could provide informative
private letters -- like all of Roloff's, Scheel's, G. S. Myer's, etc letters.
Great killie articles could be reprinted. The remaining founders of the AKA
could all write their history/memory of the organization -- Klee's is already
written but I am sure there is alot more. Bruce Turner, Alan Fletcher and
Rosario LaCorte could write about the killie hobby before the AKA was formed.
This book could be sold at the Convention and then to the membership as a
To top it off, the host club this year -- and the AKA as a whole --
could invite the remaining founding members and certain other key individuals
in the AKA's history to make a great presentation/talk/bull session at this
Convention. Klee, Turner, LaCorte, Haas, Weitzman, Tirbak, Ricco, Langton,
Kallus, Dyer, Hoelter and a few others could form a great program: The AKA
Just a thought. Might be more interesting than the usual collecting
trip, water chemistry, raising live foods, new descriptions/ichthyology
Convention standard fare.
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