A life­time of flow­ers

Northern Outlook - - OUT & ABOUT - EMMA DANGER­FIELD

With the Wood­end Spring Flower Show cel­e­brat­ing 85 years this year, pres­i­dent Eve­lyn Paget has time to look back on when she first en­tered the show as a child.

‘‘I must have been about eight,’’ Paget said.

‘‘I re­mem­ber do­ing things such as a sand saucer, mini gar­den and vase of flow­ers. It was very im­por­tant to cover the whole saucer and sand oth­er­wise you could be marked down.’’

The Flower Show has had many names and she remembers it be­ing the Wood­end Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety Show.

Ar­ti­cles in news­pa­pers from 1882 sug­gest the show has its roots in the Wood­end Chrysan­the­mum, Grain and Root Show, where va­ri­eties of bar­ley, wheat, car­rots, pota­toes and more were ex­hib­ited to win prizes and awards.

Paget remembers the Angli­can Church be­ing strongly in­volved, as well as the Li­ons Club and Gar­den Club, and com­peti­tors were mainly farm­ers’ wives. As a sec­ondary school stu­dent, she helped record en­tries and ev­ery­thing was done man­u­ally – she still has copies of many of the old minute books.

She con­tin­ued her par­tici- pa­tion in the show as time al­lowed, with her chil­dren fol­low­ing the tra­di­tion of en­ter­ing, and she remembers when the agri­cul­tural classes were dropped, and the show be­came fo­cused on flow­ers, pro­duce, bak­ing and crafts.

She has spent over 20 years on the com­mit­tee, holding of­fices as sec­re­tary, trea­surer and lately pres­i­dent. She has faced chal­lenges to the show in that time in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial is­sues, lack of com­mit­tee mem­bers and venue changes due to earth­quakes/fires, how­ever loves the peo­ple con­tact and learn­ing new skills from the judges and de­mon­stra­tors.

Paget be­lieves the show has a strong fu­ture if the next gen­er­a­tion carry on the man­tle, as man­power is be­com­ing an is­sue with many of the com­mit­tee now over 70.

In­no­va­tions such as adding a bloke’s sec­tion, a chil­dren’s craft class, and dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy are widen­ing the scope for en­trants.

Two years ago the show part­nered with the Na­tional Daf­fodil So­ci­ety to hold a spe­cial two day event which saw record at­ten­dance. Will the show make 100 years? ‘‘I hope so. I won’t be around to see it, but I hope so.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.