Queensland's friendliest gardening club
Beautiful wild flowers grow in Caloundra on the glorious Sunshine Coast, one hour drive north of Brisbane in Queensland. Annually the area has many sunny days to enjoy our beaches, explore the hinterland and indulge in our passion of gardening. Caloundra Garden Club meets at 9.30am the first Tuesday in the month, February to November at the Masonic Hall. Our program includes the following features each morning:
Extensive Library to peruse
Sumptuous Morning Tea
Plant Trading Table
Bookings for Tours
Our floral emblem is Blandfordia Grandiflora (Christmas Bells) which is found on the mainland and on Fraser Island from 24-34 degrees south.The natural habitat of Blanfordia has been disappearing since European settlement and is under threat in the wild because its distribution along the heavily populated and rapidly developing eastern coast of Australia. Club members can remember years ago picking armfuls of Blandfordia. The local Landcare group is hoping to re-establish Blanfordia along Caloundra Road. The Caloundra Garden Club was formed in March 1984 as a result of a meeting called by Mrs.Belle Taylor, an elderly wheelchair bound lady who had been interested garden clubs for many years before moving to Caloundra. This meeting was held in the old CWA building where 'The Village Shopping Centre' now stands and was attended by 25 of the residents.
Mrs. Anne-Williams representing the Garden Clubs of Australia, chaired the initial meeting, The meeting was addressed by the late Harold Caulfied. The outcome of this meeting was the forming of a Committee comprising of President Vera Mason, Vice President Hazel Hopkins, Secretary Joyce Wheller, Treasurer Pat Wedge, Tour Director Lebor Havelka and a Publicity Officer Grace Tolson.
The Club's first official meeting was held at the home of Vera Mason the Foundation President, on April 3rd. 1984 with 32 members. After much discussion it was decided to hold meetings on the first Tuesday of each month excepting January. The meetings were to be held in member's gardens, parks or beaches. Annual Fees were set at $4.00. The meetings were similiar to the present format; a short formal meeting with open discussion, trade table, morning tea and some very interesting guest speakers. The membership continued to grow and by the end of the first year it reached 70 and by the third year, membership had reached 100.
Initially, in exchange for tending the gardens the club was offered the use of the North Caloundra Sport and Recreation Hall at Currimundi for meetings. The hall was used on rainy days and in the winter months, but members kept to the original plan for other meeting days. Elizabeth Tennant and Rosemary Opala volunteered to take care of the gardens and created interesting gardens under difficult conditions. This arrangement carried on for several years until the hall became too small to accommodate the large attendances. By 1987/88 membership had risen to 140, with average meeting attendance of 80. The Caloundra Garden Club started the beautification of the Currimundi Park and relinquished maintenance to the Caloundra City Council on 3 April 1990. Caloundra City Council acknowledged the club member's efforts and thanked the club on 5 June 1990. The Caloundra Garden Club was incorporated on 4 January 1990 and in 1994 the club moved to the Masonic Hall. Morning tea and name badges were introduced along with first newsletter in 2002. In 2009 membership was over 180 with an average of 120 attending monthly meetings.
We now have an active and lively Committee with responsibilities for the following areas. Tours, Guest Speakers, Library, Plant Stall, Raffles, Competition Table and Canteen, as well as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Newsletter Editor and Webmaster. Amongst our renowned guest speakers has been Dr.John Shuttleworth, Kathleen McArthur, a Wildflower Artist and Sunshine Coast Citizen of the Century in 2002, Stan Tutt, Colin Campbell, an ABC Gardening Australia Presenter, Ross McKinnon and Rotarian Ben Bennett after whom the Ben Bennett Bushland Park was named.
Foundation Members are Vera Mason, Foundation President , Grace Boyd, Hazel Hopkins, Shirley Clay, Judy Roberts, and Doreen Weber. Life Members are Betty Cameron, Col Flemming, Dawn Flemming, Vera Mason, Judy Roberts, Elizabeth Tennant, Doreen Weber and Trevor Lockett. We honour and respect the above Foundation and Life Members for their contributions in making the Caloundra Garden Club the successful entity it is today.