Buderim Garden Club Early Days
The Buderim Garden Club (BGC) was
founded in 1946 along with the Buderim War Memorial Community Association
(BWMCA) as part of the post-war program to continue the involvement of the
Buderim Residents in the life of the Buderim community.
Initially the BGC was
just an informal small group of Buderim people interested in Gardening and the
Beautification of Buderim, but no formal committee or executive positions were
created till 1949, passed & present BGC committees have used the 1946 year
to celebrate anniversary’s along with BWMCA.
The Club was not intended to be a formal Horticultural Society, but aimed to provide a social meeting and learning place for residents interested in beautifying the town through private gardens and public parks. That the Club has succeeded in this aim over its 73 years is evidenced by the continuing high level of interest shown by its members, and the standing which the Club enjoys in the Community.
The Club has always supported the Buderim War Memorial Community Association in the ideals and endeavours, and has been a great benefactor to the Maroochy Shire Council, now the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
The Members of BGC look forward to the future years with pride in the past and confidence in the future.
Although the Buderim Garden Club (BGC) was founded in 1946, it was not till June 1949 when a public meeting was held (as reported in the Nambour Chronicle on 10th June) to elect a committee, and formalise the club operations.
Arising from this meeting the first Officers were elected:
President Mrs D. Ferguson. (Mrs Doris May Grace Ferguson was to remain President BGC from 1949 to 1956). V/President Mr J.D. Harcourt and Secretary/Treasurer Mr C. H. Perkins/L.J. Higgins. The committee comprises Mr. J. Wilson and the executive officers with the power to add.
Aims of the club were:
1. To foster and encourage the love and making of gardens for the Buderim residents;
2. To provide opportunities for the interchange of ideas and knowledge appertaining to gardening and flower culture;
3. To organise and conduct shows and competitions, as shall be decided upon from time to time.
Special Note: Some BGC anecdotal history has shown that Canon John Osborn (no "e" in surname) was Club President from 1946, but no records can be found to prove this. It appears that Canon Osborn moved to Buderim during 1949/50 and became a person interested in Buderim & BGC matters.
Prior to 1958 the Club looked after the area known as “Waterfall Glen” (the cascades behind the Buderim Mountain Primary School Oval), but in 1958 the care of this area was handed back to the Buderim Community Centre Recreation Committee.
In 1961 the Club was asked to
care for a new Park created in an Alfred Grant Subdivision.
The Club with the assistance of the local Aboriginal community, ran a competition and named the Park “Wirreanda” (Place of Big Trees). After a few years, maintainance of the area was handed over to the Maroochy Shire Council.
At the President’s suggestion in 1961, the Management Committee structure was commenced in 1962, and the Club’s first Constitution was adopted in 1963. This was updated in 1989 into a set of Rules, when the Club became Incorporated under State Government Legislation.
The Objects of Buderim Garden Club Inc. being:
- To foster friendship among members through the common bond of gardening interests.
- To encourage and improve home gardening in Buderim and surrounding districts.
- To extend the knowledge of horticulture.
- To hold horticultural shows, at which prizes may be awarded.
- To co-operate in the development and beautification of Buderim and district.
Note – Donations from BGC go to projects for the “Beautification of Buderim”
The Club affiliated with the Garden Clubs of Australia in 1975 and hosted the 10th Convention of the Garden Clubs of Australia on Buderim Mountain in September 1985. BGC is a member of the Queensland Council of Garden Clubs.
Meetings/membership commenced in 1946 and slowly increased over the years. A newspaper article in the Nambour Chronicle (Fri. 20 April 1952) reports that a meeting held in Mrs D. Ferguson home on Sat. last had 25 members in attendance and that the next meeting was to be held at Mr Geo. Burnett’s farm on Sat. 21st April.
It was decided in to hold monthly gatherings in Members’ gardens in Buderim so that practical knowledge may be gained. In June 1954 the regular meeting day was changed from Saturday to Friday – the annual subscription to be 2/6 per family.
In 1967/8 membership was about
40, and this increased until it topped the 200 in 1978 and 300 in 1988
(sometime during this period members formed the Nambour Garden Club, people
from area where members BGC). BGC
membership has stabilised at about 290 in recent years.
The Club Competition was re-started in 1974 and continued until 1983. In 1984 the Club sponsored the Small Garden section in the Gardens in the Sun competition run by the local Newspaper. In 1985 the Club commenced a small competition within the Buderim Garden Village only for House and Balcony Gardens.
The Gardens of Buderim (Garden Walk), commenced in 1988 as stated above, and was listed as the opening feature of the inaugural Sunshine Coast Festival of Gardens which was opened by Mrs. Tammy Fraser. Ex. Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Fraser accompanied Mrs. Fraser, over 1000 people attended the Garden Walk.
Eventually the Gardens in the Sun ended but the Club’s Garden Walk (open gardens) has continued every year as popular as ever as a popular part of the Buderim Garden Festival Weekend. The Spring/Autumn Flower Show however, has continued to be held each year, now in its 60th year, and if you count
Buderim Flower Shows/Open Gardens
The first record of BGC holding a Flower show and Carnival can be found in Nambour Chronicle & North Coast Advisor on 15 July 1949, with the show being held on September 3rd 1949. Other newspaper articles show A Dahlia & Chrysanthemum Display held in Buderim Hall (School of Arts) on 2 may 1952, so maybe shows were held yearly from 1949? An Exhibitor’s Schedule for the 1960 Spring Show is held - Admission was 2/- and Afternoon Tea cost 1/-.
In 1975, the Spring Show was the Opening Function of the Buderim Ginger Festival, and the Show was opened by Lady Cilento. Both Spring and Autumn Flower Shows were held annually until 1988 when the Spring Show was discontinued to become part of the new Gardens of Buderim program (Garden Walks/Drive from Hall) which featured 15 Gardens open for inspection, and included Plant stalls on Sat. & Sunday in Hall grounds, but no flower show in hall. Later renamed the Buderim Garden Festival this scheme still operates each Spring. In 1997 the Spring Flower Show was re-instated as part of the Garden Festival and the Autumn Flower Show was discontinued.
A “Garden of the Year” competition was commenced in 1965 in Buderim and in 1972 was expanded to an Open Garden Competition in conjunction with the Ginger Festival and the Club Garden Competition in conjunction with the Spring Flower Show. In 1973 both Garden Competitions were abandoned due to lack of interest.
In 1991 the “Gardens of Buderim” weekend was the opening feature of the inaugural Sunshine Coast Festival of Gardens. In 1995 the “Gardens of Buderim” became a feature of the “Buderim Garden Festival” that has since been held each year till 2019 (open garden part festival now in its 24th year, and if you count the initial Buderim Garden Walks that commenced in 1988, the Open Garden format has been running for 31 years). And if you count the first Flower show and Carnival being held on September 3rd 1949, them BGC is in their 71st year of Flower shows/Carnivals/Festivals of some sort held in Buderim, similar history to Toowoomba’s Festivals.
In August 1976, the club held its Annual General Meeting at the Buderim Garden Village, and met there once every year until 1986. In 1977 the Club held its December meeting in Foote Sanctuary, and provided a BBQ Lunch for all members. This started an annual sequence with gatherings in Members’ gardens which continued until 1986 when monthly meeting started being held on the seconded Friday of month from February to November at the Buderim Memorial Hall, with Christmas lunch held in December at a selected venue in Buderim.
In 1993 the Club invited the well-known and highly qualified Horticulturist Mr. Colin Campbell to be the Club’s Patron. Mr. Campbell had recently become a resident of Maleny and accepted the Club’s invitation with pleasure until his sad passing in 2012.
BGC then appointed Marjorie Van Roy as their new Patron in 2014. Marjorie has had a long association with the BGC and is a Life Member. She is a popular guest speaker and the Van Roys' beautiful Manawee Nursery has always generously supported the BGC by providing plants for fundraising purposes and as sponsors of the Buderim Garden Festival.