It is my pleasure to report to you, members of the UYV Garden Club at the end of my year as President for the year 2015/16.
In August 2015, just before the AGM, I agreed to be nominated as President but was to go to South America – to visit Peru, Machu Pichu, Lake Titicaca and the Galapagos Islands. (I had a tremendous trip and I do recommend that trip to you!). Whilst totally immersed in touring, I had a very pleasant surprise email from Kevin announcing I’ve been elected as your President. Now that news did propelled me to cloud 9. I was proud, happy and dying to return to my first meeting with you.
It had been a huge learning curve for me as President and I cannot thank Kevin enough for tutoring me along the way. My friends (members of the UYVGC) and my Committee have been consistently supportive and encouraging. Despite this friends, I’m not perfect and I’ve made a couple of mistakes, please forgive me.
Very early in my presidency, I decided that members need to be more involved and I’ve asked for suggestions re club activities via the Suggestion Box. I decided all complimentary tickets received by the Club would be distributed to club members at club meetings. I hope this practice will continue.
Our membership is at 153 and at the last Open Garden Weekend we collected $14,315, the highest amount ever collected! Thanks are due to Ros for her diligent counting here and throughout the year watching our finances. A very big thank you to Members who erected the road signage, put them up and down, volunteered to work at the gates and of course to Shirley Lahtinen for tirelessly working out the roster schedule till it is all completed and confirmed.
Our donations to Community Organizations and our bus trips for members seems to have found an accepted balance for the profits of this busy weekend.
Apart from the two Club Flower Shows and the best Open Garden weekend, I feel our visit to the Vineyard Gardens and Sand Sculptures at the Frankston foreshore was another highlight hugely enjoyed by all. We thank Anne, Denise and Jose for their planning.
A few of our special speakers are to be commended too, namely Club Member Violeta with her enthusiastic talk on succulents. Our celebrity speaker Simon Rikard was such a huge success with members that there were requests to purchase his garden books which are now included in the Club Library for your enjoyment. In June, were fortunate to have our local world’s best strawberry growers, Luciano and Heather Corallo talk to us about the science and hard work in producing the large strawberries we enjoy at our Christmas functions.
This has been a year of growth for me. I have learnt so much to share. With new friends that I’ve made at the UYVGC, I’ve been to more horticultural shows and visits including The Nook in Monbulk, the best cottage garden I’ve seen, where Val the owner gave me tips on growing and group plantings.
Last but not least, I must give my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Kevin Hince, Jan Hince, Bob Sheldon (our resident horticulturalist) Margaret Hastings for her tireless library supervision, David for his media skills, Valda for her organization of the Popular Vote each month, Janet for her willingness to fill in in Kevin’s absences and Joy for her collection of raffle prizes each month, and Peter Versteege for helping with the raffle at monthly meetings.
I thank you all as my dear new friends for giving me such a wonderful 12 months as your President.