Christmas Party 2022

It was so lovely to finally be able to conduct our end of year Christmas Party this year.  The co-Presidents were so happy to see so many of our members able to join in the celebration.  The venue, Invercauld House Goonellabah, was lovely as were the very attentive staff.  Everyone had a lovely afternoon catching up with people that not only have shared interests but that have become friends.

Every year we acknowledge members that have played an important role in our club.  Members who have given up their time to make our club so much better.  Life Membership is also awarded to a very deserving member who tirelessly volunteers their time and efforts for the club. Below are the very worth recipients and an acknowledgment of their efforts.

Life Membership

Life Membership to our club is not handed out lightly, careful consideration is given by the committee executive with the help of recommendations from you, the members.

Each year there are many who would qualify for Life Membership but one person tends to rise above.  Members selected show an ongoing commitment to our club, always ready and happily willing to do whatever is required to benefit our members and to ensure the smooth running of our club.  This year’s Life Member is no exception and my mind is exceptional.

Margaret Bruce is awarded Life Membership for 2022.

Margaret is a long time member, I am not sure when she joined but the earliest record that I have is 2014.   Margaret has held a few important committee positions over the past almost 10years.  She was co-President from 2014 to 2016.  She then went on to hold the membership register as well as the job of co-Guest Speaker/Social Secretary in 2017. She has continued to be our Guest Speaker co-ordinator; a job that she does exceedingly well.  It is not an easy role but she has managed to procure so many varied and interesting speakers for our meetings ranging from Phil Dudman to our very own club members sharing their special plant or plant craft passions. Margaret is an invaluable member of the club’s committee.

For me this is a very personal presentation.  I took on the membership role from Margaret in 2018 as part of the Vice-Presidents role. I was a rather newish member, Margaret made me feel comfortable with meeting and greeting all of you at the sign in desk.  The membership role is time consuming but a vitally important role enshrined in the club’s constitution.  There is more involved than one would think but she gave up her time to show me the all the duties.  Margaret has been a wonderful sounding board for ideas and is always ready to help with whatever I have required of her.  I am truly thankful for Margaret’s on-going contributions, love for the club and her friendship

Thank you to:

  • Liz Hind

We love to show our appreciation to those members or committee members that go above and beyond for the good of our club.  We want to give a special thank you to a committee member and her husband who are always ready and willing to take time out to benefit the club.  This year they have researched and implement technology that improves our experience and aids our events and especially Guest speaker presentations.  Liz Hind and her husband David not only researched and procured, at a good price, a new Audio Visual system that satisfies the needs of our club now and into the future.  They also arranged for a blind that was installed on the window behind the committee table to be used as a screen.  Liz has a very busy life with her commitment to the radio station where she volunteers as well as the treasurer’s role and probably for other club’s that she is a member and yet she took on this important initiative along with her husband.  We are so grateful to both of them you for and especially Liz for her dedication to our club.

  • Patricia Di Tuillo

The first of our presentations is made to Patricia Di Tuillo.

Patricia isn’t able to join us for our Christmas lunch, but today we want to acknowledge and thank her for her contribution to our club. I will make sure that she receives these presentation notes and her gift.

Our records show that Patricia joined us in 2016. Since then, she has undertaken the roles of both Saturday Garden Visit organizer (with Lesley, then Suzy) and across this past year as our Catering Officer.

When she realized that she would be away this past October, Patricia spoke to us all at a preceding meeting and asked for the temporary assistance of someone as Catering Officer in her absence. I remember this request.  She said, ‘If you would like to serve your club, in this way, please let us know’.

This comment seemed to encapsulate Patricia. She has served us well across several years whilst at the same time running her own interior design business and this year in particular managing the needs of an aging parent as well as another unwell relative.

We have appreciated Patricia’s service in her quiet, efficient way and we will miss her presence on our committee. She will, however, remain a club member.

I for one am most grateful for this, as Patricia is my fashion icon. Ladies and gentlemen, you all dress wonderfully and I notice and appreciate this, but Patricia is, in my view in a league of her own. Her style, her use of colour, her selection of jewellery, her capacity to accessorize, and even her application of lipstick all make her a ‘standout’ whether she’s at one of our meetings or at a more casual open garden. Does anyone remember her red boots and that gorgeous matching red beret one Saturday this year? I remember thinking that we could well have been in France that day.

I am so pleased that Patricia will remain with us, and, for many reasons, I look forward to seeing her again next year.

  • Carol Lea

Last year 2021 covid put an end to many of our meetings and to any plans for a Christmas party and although we did award two Life Membership earlier this year for last year there was one person who we did not thank for their efforts. For this I apologise but let’s remedy this right now.

Carol Lea our thanks are to you for not only being ready to assist the club whenever asked; for your beautiful floral and craft arrangements but especially for baking the most beautiful and yummy birthday cake for Daisy Dare’s 100th birthday.  Carol baked the cake and then was not able to stay to enjoy the celebration and the cake that she lovingly baked.  She handed it to me in the car park as a neighbour had covid and she worried that she may have been infected and did not want to cause anybody harm.  We thank you so much for your support.

  • Diana Sharpe

Recently a dear friend of Wayne and mine, also our lawyer, commented in passing, on the costs of legal services. She relayed that some law firms bill their clients in 6-minute intervals. I immediately imagined a timer recording this on the desks of her associates….tick, tick, tick,  ker-ching, tick, tick, tick, ker-ching. I laughed a little nervously, relieved that this wasn’t the basis of our legal costs.

If you have friends or family who are in the legal profession this cost may not seem unreasonable. The law is a complex process. It takes years to become familiar with it and proficient in it and the advice given by lawyers is generally very important and this is reflected in their fees.

Clubs like ours by their very nature require good legal advice from time to time. Our previous Club Constitution was drawn up with the pro bono assistance of Denise’s husband Peter and it’s served us well, since 2017.

This year, our state government presented us with the challenge of reworking aspects of our Constitution so that we complied with the changes outlined in the Regulatory Impact Statement.

Diana Sharpe who was new to our committee and whose most recent profession (she’s had several) was that of a lawyer, offered to assist us to do this.

I don’t know how much time Diana devoted to this undertaking, but I do recall several weeks of many emails, a long morning tea provided by her (where Adelina and I plied her with many ‘lay-person’ questions about our developing constitution), and then a flurry of additional emails until we drew this process to a satisfactory conclusion.

Like Peter, Diana provided her services without charge. No 6-minute interval costs for us.

Adelina and I have appreciated Diana’s guidance in this matter, as well as her encouragement to see the need to rework the constitution as an ‘opportunity’ rather than a ‘challenge’, and we are confident that thanks to her, our present Constitution will serve us across the next chapter of the Bangalow Garden Club.

Thank you, Diana.

  • Adelina Linardon

Adelina and I planned today’s lunch together. All except this. I suspect that this will come as somewhat of a surprise to Adelina, but I planned this part alone because this presentation is to her.

As you know Adelina’s three-year term as Co-President was to end now. Our Constitution allows an extension of this for one additional year. You all agreed that this ruling be enacted and that Adelina continues in this role across 2023.

I want to publicly thank Adelina for agreeing to this and explain why I am grateful that she has.

After an unexpected ascendancy to my present position, I experienced what I call, ‘little duck syndrome’ where I appeared to be gliding along calmly in this new role when in truth, underwater I was paddling frantically and hoping that no one noticed.

To my great good fortune, there was another in the Bangalow Garden Club Pond, who was the ‘lead duck’. Across my initial months, as I realized more of what I’d agreed to, she paddled calmly just ahead of me, guiding me, and turning occasionally to say ‘It’s all in hand. No need to worry. We can do this.’

More will be said about this, one year from now as we thank Adelina then for her many years of service as Co-President

about how she is a quintessential garden club member with a wide horticultural knowledge

about how she has enough ideas and plans for our club, to sink a sizeable ship

about how using a gardening analogy, ‘she has the capacity to call a spade a shovel’ about things she feels passionate about but on the other hand is respectful of the different opinions within our club

about how she is committed to a garden club that acknowledges its past and looks forward to its future

about how she is generous to a fault

This can all be included in our thanks to her, one year hence.

But for the present, Adelina has been my guide and my mentor about all these things and much more this year and I am delighted about the prospect of working with her and with Diana in 2023. This is my gift to her.

Thank you, Adelina.

The co-Presidents and committee hope that everyone has a very happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Posted in Celebrations.