Lismore City News
Saturday, 2 December 2023

Lismore Garden Club celebrates its 90th anniversary

Cathy Adams
Updated October 11 2022 - 10:01am, first published October 5 2022 - 12:00pm

For 90 years gardeners in Lismore have been banding together to share their knowledge and love of gardening, and the milestone has been with a celebration at the Lismore Turf Club.

Club secretary Dawn Coles said a love for nature was the common bond all gardeners shared.

"The thing that unites us all is our love for gardening whether it be in the orchards, roses, succulents, cactus, cottage garden or rainforests, we all share a common bond in our love for the living environment," Dawn said.

Floods had destroyed much of the club's early history, but Dawn said records of a garden club in Lismore could be traced to 1886 when a horticultural group provided vegetables and craft to the agricultural shows.

The group evolved to a horticultural society, then became the Lismore Garden Club, as it is known today.

"Lismore Garden Club has held an annual garden competition for nearly sixty years with a vision for the beautification of Lismore and surrounding areas," Dawn said.

An Anniversary cake was cut by long serving members Fay Ryan and Life members Charlie and Dorothy Cox. Picture by Kerrianne Cawley
An Anniversary cake was cut by long serving members Fay Ryan and Life members Charlie and Dorothy Cox. Picture by Kerrianne Cawley

One of the projects over the years has been caring for Elizabeth Garden and parkland, located on High Street.

Dawn said other highlights included the Lismore Garden Club hosting the Garden Clubs of Australia's Convention in Lismore in the 1980s, and the Lismore Floral Carnival.

The garden club's competitions drew entries from up to one hundred gardeners, three retirement villages and up to eighteen schools.

Dawn said it was "very inspiring" to go to the schools to see the students' gardens. she said they grew mostly vegetables, but she was impressed by their understanding of environmental and sustainable issues.

"Some school gardens would supply their canteen with freshly picked items," Dawn said.

"The interest from the Retirement villages was amazing and the increased activity it created showed age has no barriers, and a feeling of belonging.

"The garden club also worked on creating a little competition amongst the industrial area with the outside area which also improved the beautification of Lismore."

Dawn said the club had been a supporter of Our House and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.

"Our long time members Mary Betteridge and sister Emily (deceased).were foundation members of the Lismore Westpac Helicopter.

"Our club is very aware of the community caring and involvement we have created across the diverse sections of our local society."

Dawn said the Lismore City Council has been over many years has a wonderful supporter both financially and attending our functions.

The Lismore Garden Club meets each month and has social outings visiting gardens locally, and other garden clubs from Tenterfield to Grafton and Tweed Heads.

Members from across the region came to Lismore to help celebrate the 90th anniversary last month at the Lismore Turf Club.

Club keeps Lismore gardens blooming for 90 years
Club keeps Lismore gardens blooming for 90 years

In attendance were representatives from Tenterfield, Casino, Kyogle, Murwillumbah, Bangalow, Tweed Heads, Wollongbar, Woodburn, Lismore Garden Clubs and Lismore Orchid Society.

Patchwork quilts and orchids were on display and Jerry Coleby-Williams from Gardening Australia gave presentations on 21st Century Cottage Gardens and Gardening by Design.

The President of Garden Clubs of Australia Lorraine Emerson presented Lismore Garden Club with a certificate for 90 years of service with Garden Clubs of Australia it was received by Life Member Charlie Cox.

Lynn Faux also from Garden Clubs of Australia also attended.

An anniversary cake was cut by long serving members Fay Ryan and Life members Charlie and Dorothy Cox.

A Magnolia Shrub was planted during the day as a tribute to the Queen's Jubilee by Lorraine Emerson and Lynn Faux.

Cathy Adams

Cathy Adams