Wanganui Floral Art Group


On November 3rd 2019 Wanganui Floral Art Group celebrated its 50th Birthday with many past members returning to renew friendships and reminisce about their pleasurable, industrious and creative days together.

The Wanganui Floral Art Group was formed in 1969 from a group attached to the Wanganui Horticultural Society. The Group then joined the newly formed Floral Art Society of New Zealand.

Janet Withers and Anne Kent are two Life Members who have been with the club from the very beginning. Janet recounted some of her memories of those days – when the minutes showed that ladies were Mrs or Miss. She was the first floral artist in Wanganui to think that joining FASNZ in 1969 was a good idea. She is a Teacher, period design specialist and was on the FASNZ Executive in the early days, as well as being a stalwart of floral art in Wanganui and nationally.

Following Janet’s presentation five club members recounted some of the events of each decade, bringing back memories of enjoyable days of creativity and companionship.

We used this opportunity to acknowledge and honour the contribution that Lynne Gray has made to the floral art world and the Group since 1975 by inviting her to be our Patron. Lynne has been President of the Group and Treasurer of the Area, as well as Chairman and Secretary of the FASNZ National Education Committee. She has been a national Judge and Teacher and has shared her floral art knowledge and talent through workshops, demonstrations, judging and creating marvellous designs on many occasions in Wanganui, New Zealand and Overseas.

A Birthday luncheon was held at the Grand Hotel with representatives from other clubs in the Manawatu attending. Lesley Yule, Area President, congratulated the Club while dressed in apparel of former times. Club members created a Grand Golden display as a celebration.

A welcome ‘50’ wall hanging created with succulents by Anne Flutey greeted all at the entrance. This was accompanied by a massed design inspired by Julia Clements. A triple U stand of old became a golden masterpiece created by Jenny Thomson, while S shaped stands decorated each table giving an overall golden display and setting the atmosphere. The table designs were created by Lynne Gray and Shirley Hastings.

Members created designs to enhance the setting with a modern contemporary design, a vertical design, a horizontal masterpiece, a European style trough and designs set amongst the five decades of photos on display. The horizontal design pictured here was created by Maree Murdoch.

It was an enjoyable afternoon of memories and fun.

There have been many changes over the last 50 years, with membership growing to 100 in 1980s and 1990s. Unfortunately the 21st Century has seen a gradual decline in numbers but the Group is still as active and involved with the community as it ever was.


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