C.O.B.S. History

In the spring of 1986, the Kirkpatrick Center offered a showing of bonsai trees by Oklahoma's bonsai artist Mike Raska.  It was then that hobbyist Charlie Elmore, Sandy Hernandez and Keith Warren met for the first time and Mr. Hernandez suggested forming an official bonsai club.  The idea lay dormant until the following spring when TLC Nursery offered a bonsai workshop.  The public response was overwhelming as enthusiastic hobbyists gathered to learn more about the art of these fascinating dwarf trees.  It was obvious by then that the time was right to form a club.

Soon there after, a handful of people met informally in order to plan the strategy for the formation of the club.  Fliers were made and distributed among area nurseries to invite membership.  TLC Nursery graciously offered a conference room in which to meet and on Thursday, April 16, 1987 the first state registered public bonsai club in Oklahoma was born and officially named the Central Oklahoma Bonsai Society (COBS).

The organization affiliated with other clubs in the nation through Bonsai Clubs International and registered officially with Oklahoma's Secretary of State as a non-profit organization.  Meanwhile, the constitutional committee, directed by Frank Baird, began the task of construction of the constitution, which is modeled from other clubs in the nation.

By the fall of 1987, the Central Oklahoma Bonsai Society joined membership with the Oklahoma City Garden Council and found its permanent home in which to meet, at Will Rogers Garden Exhibition building.

The purpose of forming an official club was to advance the education of the membership in the aesthetic features of the art form and to promote the knowledge, interest, appreciation and enjoyment of bonsai through monthly meetings.  An annual showing of the finest of our trees is a focal point of our members to share the beauty of bonsai with the general public.


Keith Warren, Club Historian