Garden club having ‘resurgence’

Fairfield Garden Club subcommittee members (from left) Jude Scott, Murray Smeaton, Zelda Matheson...
Fairfield Garden Club subcommittee members (from left) Jude Scott, Murray Smeaton, Zelda Matheson, Robyn Bailey and Ruth McNally peruse the old minutes books of the club. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
First there were eight — now there are more than 40.

Just like their beloved flora over the seasons, the Fairfield Garden Club’s membership has gone through declines and growth spurts over the past four decades.

The Fairfield Garden Club’s banner, painted by George Arthur soon after the club’s establishment...
The Fairfield Garden Club’s banner, painted by George Arthur soon after the club’s establishment on August 3, 1981. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
President Murray Smeaton said at one stage, club membership grew to about 80, before dropping considerably in more recent years.

But lately, numbers had begun to grow again, he said.

"There’s been a resurgence.

"I put it down to the fact that our older members are coming along with younger people who have queries about gardening about how to set up a vegetable garden and how to deal with certain pests.

"I think there’s a move to being more self-sufficient — looking back at their grandparents’ days and seeing how their granddad used to grow all these big vegetable gardens.

"I think people are appreciating gardening and the self-sufficiency it can give them.’’

The club, originally called the Fairfield Garden Group, was established on August 3, 1981, by eight people in the Fairfield School staffroom, Mr Smeaton said.

A subcommittee had been going through the club’s early records and found the following minutes from 1981, he said.

"It was decided to call a meeting of interested residents to form a body of people with an interest in gardening, and its associated activities,’’ the minutes read.

"This meeting was held on August 3, 1981, at 7.45pm in the staff room at the Fairfield School.

"Eight people were present, including Mrs Barbara Cave, of Dunedin, who was guest speaker.

"She spoke on the advantages of getting together, to learn, share ideas, swap plants and meet others with similar interests.

"Mrs Lynn Thomson presented the speaker with a bouquet of flowers and fruit, and gave a vote of thanks on behalf of those present.

"A committee was formed from those present.’’

On July 11, past and present members will gather at Nellie’s Restaurant, in Mosgiel, at noon, to celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary.

 

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