Brightwater Horticultural Society Inc.

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Brightwater Horticultural Society Inc.

A Brief History

By Pamela Sirett

 

In the spring of 1903, a small committee was formed with the object of organizing a Flower Show in Brightwater in the autumn of 1904 i.e. 4th and 5th May. The object was to raise funds to pay off the debt on the new vicarage of St Paul’s Church Brightwater. It as also thought that an annual flower show might be instituted in Brightwater. The first President was Mr Bettany, Secretary F. Coleman. The first credit balance showed 39 pounds 7 shillings and 4 pence and thirty pound was given to the vicarage fund, the first of many donations over the years. In 1960 the Society had donated six hundred pound in 11 years to the found. In 1907, the Richmond Band was asked to play for 2 nights of the show at a cost of 2 pound. In 1923, the Brightwater Band was engaged to entertain at the show.

 

In 1912, the show dates clashed with The Nelson Horticultural Society and the Church Festival so the Secretary, Mr Coleman had to use is “persuasive powers’ to change their dates over the telephone. The Secretary wrote to the Railway Manager in 1922 asking him to delay the 4.45pm train on Saturday until 6pm for the benefit of patrons to the show. The shows initially, were held in large marquees borrowed from the Defence Department. By 1906 Mr Bisley had made a tent for the Society’s use but by 1910, after the hall extension was built and paid for by the Society, the tent was cut into 3 pieces and disposed of. Mr Ellis installed lighting to the extension of the hall in 1912.

 

But war years were upon us. In 1916 Mr Avery, the secretary enlisted for active service and was presented with a ‘wristlet’ watch. Several fund raising enterprises were donated to the war effort. In the years of conflict during the second world war some shows were missed out due to lack of manpower. In 1925 the show was canceled because of the Polio epidemic.

 

The society grew with 200 members and exhibitors receiving the show schedule and in 1951 it is recorded that the committee consisted of 20 men and 19 women. The Society’s constitution was set up in 1952 and a year later the Society became Incorporated. In 1972 Premier awards were introduced. There was a drought in 1961 but there turned out to be enough Gladioli to make a good show. Different to the drought in 2003 which broke some time after the show and we had very few gladioli on the tables.

 

There was the social side to the society too. The committee and helpers had a picnic at Cannan Downs and Harwood’s Hole – 39 people went. During the 1990’s several garden and mystery trails were enjoyed by members. In 1985 concerns were being expressed about the lack of support by the public for a successful show.

 

Many people gave a lot of time and effort to the Society. One Secretary, Mrs O’Connor, resigned in 1951 as she was not enjoying good health having broken her arm. She was 86 years old and had given 17 years of service. Mention must also be made of Mrs Betty Palmer, who along with many others, kept the Society in good heart in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

It is through many people that the society has thrived for the last 100 plus years. More recently, in 2015 Pamela Sirett, secretary and Lorna Kerr, treasurer were sincerely thanked for their 20 years of service to the Society, both also received certificates of service from the National Daffodil Society of New Zealand.

 

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More Information

For more Information about the Brightwater Horticultural Society - minute books, scrapbooks, member lists, awards, prize lists and annual show information is available at the Nelson Provincial Museum Pupuri Taonga o Te Tai Ao. Download details or click the link to visit the museums website www.nelsonmuseum.co.nz

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