Show has its final flowering
A perennial Marlborough flower show has gone dormant.
About 300 long-time supporters, exhibitors and Seddon community members packed the Awatere Memorial Hall in Seddon for the 101st and final Awatere Flaxbourne Combined Churches Flower Show yesterday afternoon.
All manner of spring flowers lined and brightened the hall - daffodils, tulips, rhododendrons, camellias and lilies - while the Seddon School choir and dancers from the Orchard Ballet Company entertained the crowd.
The Rev Dawn Daunauda, of the Awatere Christian Joint Venture, acknowledged the hard work of committee members, including Joy Jermyn who has been involved for 41 years, for such a well-respected event.
A lack of newcomers to replace some of the committee members who were retiring after many years organising the event led to the decision to abandon it.
While many in the community were disappointed, it did not spell the end of flower shows in Seddon, Mrs Daunauda said. A garden tour would be organised for next spring.
The 29 trophies awarded to past flower show exhibitors were displayed at the front of the hall and would go into storage in case another generation wanted to restore the event, she said.
Pat Barnes, of Blenheim, said she made a point of attending this year's show, having lived in Seddon for 56 years. Entering her first flower show at the age of 5, she had fond memories of arranging sand posies, gentlemen's buttonholes, mini garden decorations and flowers in novelty containers such as old gumboots.
"I'm going to go and look at the children's section to see whether they still do the same now," she said.
Brian Schwass, 87, was also a long-time supporter and exhibitor at the show.
He remembered the first time he laid eyes on a bundle of daffodils, 80 years earlier.
"I knew it was the start of something," he said.
Mr Schwass had entered the daffodil section of shows in Ward and Seddon every year since the age of 7, but stopped about three years ago.
Good bulbs and good soil were the secrets to growing daffodils of show standard, he said.
"The King Alfred's a great daffodil, but you never hear of them now - they ran out. They're like us, they don't last forever."
- The Marlborough Express