50 years of friendship and gardening

Filed in Just In by August 4, 2021
THE Scone and District Garden Club is celebrating its 51st anniversary this year, with the club’s first meeting marked on April 14, 1970.

Members joined together at the Scone Bowling Club in April to celebrate the club’s belated 50th anniversary, with special guests Lori Emerson, President Garden Clubs of Australia, Sandra Holmes, President of the North West Zone, George Hoad, President Garden Club of Australia, Lynda Poza, proprietor of Plants on Main and Upper Hunter Shire Mayor, Maurice Collison.

Friendship, floral and succulent decorations, bagpiper, raffles and lucky door prizes contributed to
making this celebration a memorable one. Photo supplied.

Lori Emerson presented the club with a framed certificate of achievement and longest serving club member Rita Newling had the honour of cutting the birthday cake.

The Scone and District Garden Club, previously known as the Upper Hunter Garden Club, had their first meeting at 8pm on April 14, 1970 at the Phillip Norman Hall.
Memberships cost 50c for a single and 75c for double, with planned monthly meetings that didn’t always eventuate. 
Early minute records show most meetings were held at night time at either members’ homes or the Country Women’s Association building and were followed by supper, before morning meetings were introduced in 1973/1974. 
Although meetings and memberships fluctuated, the club’s activities have not changed a bit. 
Fascinating guest speakers, bus trips and flower shows that were recorded in the club’s early days have continued up until today.
Some of the first topics were on gladioli, chrysanthemums, herbs, fertilisers and their effects on the soil and a rose pruning demonstration.
In 1973 the club received a letter from Garden Clubs of Australia regarding the opening of the Opera House.
Ten years later, records shows 50 steaks were bought at a cost of 67c per steak for the 1983 Christmas Party.
In 1989 there were 65 financial members, today there are 80.
Congratulations for 50 (plus one) years of gardening friendships. 

A history of achievements

  • The Scone and District Garden Club meet on the third Wednesday of each month, except in December and January and releases a quarterly magazine for its members;
  • Several members maintain the gardens at the Scone Tourist Information Centre;
  • The club collects coins for charity and have donated hundreds of dollars to the Westpac Helicopter Appeal;
  • It also collects Lids for Kids to be made into prosthetic limbs for children in war torn countries , bread tags to raise funds for wheelchairs for the disadvantaged and fabric to be made into Boomerang Bags.
  • The club has painted hundreds of rocks for children to find during the Scone Horse Festival, with a special rock and
     book prize donated to the three local primary schools;
  • The club has been successful in obtaining Cultural Activity grant funding from the Upper Hunter Shire Council, which has allowed member’s placements in mosaic and stone walling workshops;
  • Offers tie dyeing and botanic drawing to members to help them connect and maintain friendships in a fun environment;
  • Received a $2000 Highways and Byways Grant and are currently working with Council to purchase nesting boxes for wildlife habitat and native trees/shrubs to be placed along a popular walking track at the southern end of the Bill Rose Sports Complex.
During its lifetime, the club has donated:
  • $1,000 to Chris O’Brien LifeHouse to help cancer patients and research;
  • A yearly encouragement book award to a local primary school student;

Upcoming events

The Scone District Garden Club annual meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 18 at the Uniting Church Hall at 9.30am (pending Covid-19 restrictions).
Members will meet for a cuppa and a time of friendship before the meeting at 10am, which includes the usual lucky door prizes and a raffle.
Those who wish to attend are asked to bring their own mug and morning tea, as well as flowers and photos for judging and items for the trading table. 
New members are welcome. For more information please contact Secretary Graeme Lown 0416 251 491
The club is also hosting the North West Zone picnic on Wednesday, September 29 at Scone Arts and Crafts. 
Horticulturalist and Consultant Pauline Sykes, will be the guest speaker on the day.
Pauline has a passion for Australian natives and worked at Muswellbrook Forestry Nursery for 25 years.
For more information about the event, visit the Scone District Garden Club Facebook page.

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