Our Club History Continues... 

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This is my Ninth Annual, and penultimate, President’s Report. In my tenth year as President, my goal will be to find a successor happy to perform what is a rewarding role in a great Club made up of a great group of people.

This time last year we had 39 Members at our AGM – we lost Diane Hay as Secretary, and Helen Watson from the Committee and welcomed Glenda Clapin as our new Secretary. Special thanks to the Executive and Committee Members for their contribution throughout the year.

Our 2018 Christmas Party was held at Kyla Park Hall on 2 December and with forty Members in attendance. Diane Hay was presented with Life Membership of the Club with her achievements, initiative and selfless service as Secretary, outlined. Christmas plants from Mt Beenak Nursery were presented to each Member, and a special President’s presentation was made to Maria Kakarovski (90th Birthday on 26 December 2018.) Don and Margaret Hayes organised the main raffle hamper as well as the Monthly Benching Pointscore prizes; Barbara Williams, Helen Marshall and Una Roberts put together a splendid buffet lunch; Liz Cleaver and Jean Swindley added their touch by creating Orchid and Chocolate Hampers, with thanks to Paula Brown for additional plants. And in recognition of their enthusiasm, the President’s Encouragement Award was shared by Glenda Clapin and Una Roberts.

At the beginning of 2019, Sue Carroll kindly offered to take over as Newsletter Editor for which I am particularly grateful – Sue had undertaken that role previously – I can see the difference, I hope you can too.

February’s Meeting saw Paula Brown provide a talk on how she manages her collection of Sarcochilus, and the very much ‘now traditional’ President’s Sausage Sizzle was held on 17th February.

Alan and Miriam Merriman were in the area and hosted an afternoon workshop at Gordon Marion’s on 4th March, and within a couple of days we had news that David Gynn of Sequioa Cymbidiums had succombed to cancer on 6 March. David, with his wife Kristy and the two boys, had become a regular as Vendor and Exhibitor at our Narooma Spring Shows. Steve Morgan, another regular at our Narooma Shows entertained us at the March Meeting with his take on bromeliads. The South Coast March Workshop was hosted by the Batemans Bay Club with Ray Clement, Stephen Monkhouse and Jeanne Dunn as presenters on the weekend of 23/24 March.

On 7 April we organised a Growers’ Workshop with a difference – a number of Members commenced at Steve Morgan’s Broulee property to inspect his vast collection of bromeliads, prior to adjourning to Sue and Tony Carroll’s for some examples of how Sue manages her collection. We lost a stalwart of the Club, John Gellibrand OAM on 9 April – John had been Treasurer 1995-2002, Vice President 2003- 2007, and was Public Officer 1996-2010.

At our May Meeting, Peter Stubbs presented a session on preparing small orchid displays, given that a couple of opportunities were presenting later in the year, for individuals to show their plants in this manner. At that Meeting I reported that a long time former Member, May Smith (MSA) Widow of Gerry, had died on 4 May.

Our June Meeting canvassed preparation of Show Plants and tips were provided by Liz Cleaver and Peter Van Est with a number of helpful suggestions from the floor. Our Annual Orchid Crawl was held North of the Clyde on 15 June and the collections of Barbara and Bob Williams and Peter and Annette Stubbs were opened to Members. The building efforts of Peter Stubbs in creating specialist houses to suit the various genera in their collections were much admired. Thanks to the four hosts.

The July Meeting covered plant problems and diseases, as well as a presentation from Anne-Marie Collins and Leanda O’Connor on using orchid flowers in Corsages and Table Decorations. Given the Club’s commitment to hold the S&W Region Show in October, we decided to hold an Orchid Display at the CWA Hall Moruya on 27 July, rather than conduct a “fully blown” Winter Show. Nine displays were mounted, having between six and thirty-two plants. The event was open between 10am and 1pm and was much admired by the many who attended.

Graeme and Denise Krake journeyed up the coast to join us for our August Meeting with a presentation on terrestrials. Our Spring Show was held at Narooma on 24&25 August with record-equalling benching numbers and public attendance commensurate with the quality of plants on display. Gordon Marion took Grand Champion and Most Successful ribbons, Vonnie Moodie, Champion Novice, and Una Roberts Most Successful Novice. Judy Zacher and Leanda O’Connor met the intense demand for posies and we had a nigh on record take from the raffle table.

In September we had Craig Scott-Harden provide a detailed run-through the Bulbophyllum genus from Species to development of Hybrids, along with practical tips on how to successfully grow these spectacular plants. Graham Jackson conducted his Growers’ Workshop on 21 September, accompanied by Jean Swindley with her take on de-flasking and mounting Dockrillias.

On October 3rd a small number gathered to lay the floor covering at the Moruya Basketball Stadium. Set up and Judging of the 2019 Biennial Show of the NSW South and West Regional Conference of Orchid Clubs was undertaken on 4 October . Our newsletter editor, Sue Carroll reported...

On October 5th and 6th, the Moruya Basketball Stadium was converted from a sporting venue into an orchid oasis; a treat for orchid aficionados and those appreciative of floral beauty. It was indeed ‘Spectacular’, with 12 beautiful displays and many lovely benched orchids ( about 550 in total), a wonderful photographic presentation of orchids by the   Narooma Camera Club and some delightfully creative Floral Art on show. ‘ It just makes me smile,’ was the comment of one visitor. Potting demonstrations and a slide show presentation gave visitors a chance to sit and learn or just sit and appreciate these flowers we all love.

Many E.O.C. members contributed to the success of this event in small ways or greater ways.

However, very special thanks must go to Jean Swindley and her team who shouldered the main responsibility for the organisation and should feel very satisfied with the Show’s success.

This Show wouldn’t have been possible without the participation of the other clubs in the South and West Region, some of whom travelled long distances with orchids and display equipment and we thank them for their dedication.

The vendors, who added so much interest to the Show for members of the public and orchid growers alike, Ray Hipkins from ‘Royale Orchids’ and Lloyd Edwards from ‘Earth to Joy’, also mounted displays. Thanks to them for their contribution to the Show.

Several lovely displays were produced by individuals and were a great addition to the Show.

We can’t forget our own Steve Morgan whose Bromeliads are always so popular. Thanks for joining us again Steve.

Peter Cordina from Apia, our sponsors, has certainly been exposed to orchids this year and we thank him and his company for their support.

Finally, thanks must go to every person who benched a plant. It could not have been a success without you.

At our October Club Night we welcomed Jeanne Dunn as our Guest Speaker giving us examples of her new hybrids and her developing interest in Sarcochilus. Members of the three Clubs from Milton-Ulladulla, Batemans Bay and Moruya descended on Paula and Michael Brown’s at Tuross Head on 26 October to inspect Paula’s crop of Sarcs in full bloom. (An Anne-Marie Collins initiative.)

A fortnight later, 9 November, we met our friends from the Sapphire Coast Club for the Annual Sarc Challenge which was held at the Red Door Hall of St John’s Church Moruya. A supreme effort from our friends ‘down South’ to bench twice the number of plants than Eurobodalla’s tally - Les and Anne Tudberry (Sapphire) had the best plant on display and Ray and Gayle Huddleston exhibited the best specimen. Congratulations to Sapphire for taking back the shield.

The Club’s gratitude, as does mine, must go to Vice-President and Show Marshal Jean Swindley for a big year, to her two offsiders Graham Jackson and Gordon Marion, to Treasurer David Hay, to new Secretary Glenda Clapin who experienced the proverbial ‘baptism of fire,’ and to a supportive Committee and Membership at large. Peter Stubbs has been quietly supportive in the background, and I thank him. Liz Cleaver has not renominated for Committee after ten years’ service and I thank her for input over that period.

Tony Groube