Thursday, 9 February 2017

2004 History from 'For the Love of a Garden'

These are excerpts from 'For the Love of a Garden' A history of the Coffs Harbour Garden Club Inc. 1950-2005 written by Betty Newton & Jack Lawson

Horticultural Therapy Gardens: This project began in April, 2004 with a Garden Club committee of eight members. Half of the money raised from the 2003 Biennial Convention went to the Garden Clubs of Australia Inc, and half to the Coffs Harbour Garden Club Inc, who decided to put their share to good use. They wanted to enable people in aged care homes to be involved in gardening. It was felt that the use of special tools and raised gardens would be needed. The people involved in setting up this project would not be responsible for the upkeep of any gardens.

The Therapy Garden Club committee was also successful in obtaining a $3,000 grant from the NSW Regional Community Garden Grants run by the Australian Open Garden Scheme. This brought our funds for this project to $8,500.

Thanks to all the hard work by the committee members, the various sponsors of materials, tools and plants, the Therapy Gardens have proved to be a great success. The Aged Care recipients told us that it had made a real difference to their surroundings and was wonderful for the residents. They said it was a marvellous project which would be enjoyed for many years. Eleven Aged Care Homes benefited from this project.

The Garden Clubs of Australia Inc, presented us with the Eleanor McLeod Award for Service to the Community with the Horticultural Therapy Gardens. They also gave us a book 'Learn to Garden'.

25th Anniversary of the Coffs Harbour Garden Club Inc. Our 25th birthday was celebrated in fine style with a party at our meeting on the 17th of May. Approximately 60 people were present, including our past President and Life Member, Rhonda Brooks, who travelled from the Gold Coast to be with us on this happy occasion.

A sumptuous afternoon tea was enjoyed by everyone, and party hats worn by members displayed their creative talents. Members Margaret Radford and Ron Garton were winners of the best party hats. Both hats were masterpieces of ingenuity. The 25th birthday cake was a rich fruit cake beautifully iced and decorated. A photographer from The Advocate newspaper was present and we all appeared in a Wednesday edition of the paper, in glorious colour.

25 Years

Twenty-five years and evergreen
Coffs Harbour Garden Club is seen
As a caring happy lot
Devoted to the garden plot.

Great garden hints and tips
Outings and longer trips
We really are alive
Ensuring gardens thrive.

Lets give three hearty cheers
For our birthday of twenty-five years!
Our Garden Club is the best
With garden friends we are blessed.

               Betty Newton.

This Poem written for and read at this special occasion by Betty and as printed in the Garden Club June, 2004 Newsletter.'

'A Sad Farewell: The Augest meeting records the passing of our Patron, Peg Huegill. Peg had many interests, the Smith Family and the Garden Club being of special importance to her. Peg entered our Spring Garden Competition and won various category prizes. A generous and spirited lady, Peg made a tandem parachute jump to celebrate her 80th birthday. The Garden Club donated $100 to the Carers' Lodge, in memory of Peg.

The Hunter Valley Trip 15 - 17 October: The weather stayed fine and we only experienced rain on the way home. It was wonderful visiting the world-class Hunter Valley Gardens with its beautiful and imaginative displays of flowers and plants. We called in at McGuigan's Winery and had fun visiting Garden Nurseries and browsing through the shops at Morpeth. Beaumont's Coaches who took us on our trip, were so impressed with the Garden Club that they donated a 'lucky seat' prize for our Christmas part in December.

Christmas Luncheon 13 December - Grafton River Cruise: Wearing Christmas hats, members hopped on the bus for the trip to Grafton. A visit was made to the Junction Hill Nursery first and one member bought two large Poinciana trees. These were placed in the back of the bus and it was like travelling with our own Christmas trees!

A very warm, summers day and cruising on the Clarence River was ideal, with a gentle cooling breeze. The skipper gave us the history of the river and the Susan and Peanut Islands. This was followed by a summer lunch.'


  1. The Coffs Harbour Garden Club tradition goes on. The idea of a Clarence River cruise is very appealing. Can we do it again?

    1. Might have to be as there doesn't seem to be any cruises operating on the Clarence at Grafton any more?