This year the Tipperary & District Flower and Garden Club celebrate its 40th birthday. It was founded in 1971 by Dorothy Graves of Ballintemple Dundrum with a few of her enthusiastic gardening friends. The first meeting was held on January 24, 1972 when Mrs. Dorothy Graves became chairperson, Mrs. Clair Lepp was appointed secretary, Mrs. Vera O’Donnell treasurer and Mrs. Kitten Pierse, Mrs. O’Dwyer and Mrs. May Gordon were mere members of the committee.
It was very exciting in those early days when we all learned together and taught each other. In the words of Dorothy Nash from Pallasgreen, ”There was a happy co-operative atmosphere in the club”, and this atmosphere exists to this day. We remember these people who had the foresight and vision to form the club forty years ago. We especially remember the wonderful contribution made by members no longer with us and others no longer active.
Our first major event was staging a Flower Festival in St. Mary’s Church Tipperary in 1975. Maude Kelly from Cork assisted by Dorothy Graves co-ordinated this event entitled, ‘All things bright and beautiful’. The memories are still very much alive all these years later and the high standard set by Dorothy are still maintained today.
Since its inception the club has gone from strength to strength becoming involved in festivals and shows nationally bringing great honour to the club. We look back with pride at the success of the club over the past forty years. We have taken part in all the AOIFA festivals. We recall the elegant wreath of roses in the National Gallery, the beautiful pedestals at the Maynooth Festival, the drawing room at Blarney and the welcoming exhibit at Christ Church and many more. Most recently Theresa Collins created an exquisite pedestal on the stairs at Castletown House.
Many will recall the amazing Flower Festival 2002 in St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s churches co-ordinated by Theresa Collins when she held the office of National Chairperson of the Association of Irish Floral Artists with the title, ‘Consider the Lilies’.
We now have a vibrant club. Our members are talented flower arrangers, demonstrators, judges, teachers and of course avid gardeners. The Club is especially proud of our member Theresa Collins who was an international judge at the World Show in Boston earlier this year. Congratulations!
Tipperary and District Flower and Garden Club are the only club in Ireland with a Junior Flower club for children aged 8-11. The junior club meets monthly in The Community Centre where enthusiastic young flower arrangers are encouraged to use their creativity under the expert eye of Theresa Collins and Louise Brennan
Membership is open to everyone who is interested in horticulture in all its forms and floral art. At the Club you will experience creativity, self-expression, enjoyment and friendship through flowers. The first meeting of the new year 2012 will be held in St. Anne’s Assembly Hall on January 24, at 8pm. Please note our new venue, when our demonstrator will be Mary Johannes from Ardfinnan.
We look forward to celebrating our 40th birthday with many members and friends from near and far in Ballykisteen Hotel on Wednesday, November 23, with a Gala dinner and a Gala Christmas Demonstration by Theresa Collins appropriately entitled” MEMORIES”. Subscription €40. There will be magnificent Christmas arrangements and decorations for sale on the evening and as usual all arrangements created in the demonstration will be raffled. So come and enter the Christmas season and celebrate our forty years.