Gardeners and friends gathered from far and wide recently to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Yass and District Garden Club at the Murrumbateman Country Inn. Delightful floral arrangements greeted attendees and table settings featured aspects of the Club’s history in a colourful brochure and a memento bookmark. Two tables of memorabilia displayed Club trophies and documents of interest. A wonderful slide show of forty years of activities played on the big screen.

Speakers and organisers-Jenny Brookes and Jane Southwell with guest speaker Mary-Moody centre

Club President Rod Therkelsen welcomed guests and spoke about the Club’s proud history since its humble beginnings in 1982. Many members present, and quite a few visitors, recalled those early days after local nurseryman, Cedric Bryant called a meeting of local gardeners to form the Club. Rod paid tribute to the Bryant family in his speech and told of the respect and fondness that Yass and Canberra held for this outstanding horticulturist.

In a wonderful surprise for those attending the sold-out luncheon, a video message from Costa Georgiadis was played and he congratulated the Yass and District Garden Club on achieving a milestone that was the envy of many other gardening Clubs. He certainly had done his research as he commented on many aspects of the Club’s history and activities over the forty years. While congratulating members on past achievements, he also called for continued involvement in community projects and the fostering of friendships through gardening. Lunchtime guests were appreciative of his address and the important message he delivered.

Costa’s video made a suitable backdrop for Garden Club’s Australia representative, Sue Mowle to speak, and she highlighted the growth in Clubs throughout Australia and congratulated Yass on reaching such an important milestone. She presented President Rod with a Certificate to mark the occasion.

Organiser and committee member Rosemary McReynolds with Life member Pam Oldfield after the cutting of the birthday cake.

Guest Speaker for the day, Mary Moody, then took the floor and gave a delightful recounting of her gardening and writing journey. Guests reminisced together as she shared anecdotes about her early days in journalism and laughed as she recounted her foray into the world of dahlia judging. The room listened quietly as she talked about loss and grief and the warm applause at the end of her presentation showed the genuine appreciation that was extended to such an appropriate speaker.

Life member Pam Oldfield with Y&DGC president Rod Therkelsen cutting the Celebration cake.

To conclude proceedings, President Rod Therkelsen called on life member Pam Oldfield to join him in cutting the cake. As members mingled with cake and coffee in hand, old friendships were renewed and visitors and new members were warmly included – a hallmark of what the Yass and District Garden Club has come to represent over the forty years.