Garden Club cultivates 60th anniversary celebration

| 03/06/2016
CNS Local Life

Dr Steve Tomlinson with Garden Club members (L-R) Ora Hollebon, Janet Morse and Carole Broadbelt

(CNS): The Garden Club of Grand Cayman is planning a special event next year to mark its 60th anniversary, along with 50 years of its annual flower show, with the help of a $5,000 donation from Dr Steve Tomlinson. The theme for the 2017 commemoration is “A Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration”. The two-day event, set for the South Sound Community Centre from 31 March-1 April, will include exhibits portraying Cayman’s history.

Lora Friefeld, chairperson of the show, said, “The show committee has been busy preparing for a standard flower show which will feature the club members’s as well as the community’s talent and creativity. The Garden Club has been presenting flower shows nearly every year since its founding.”

Based on research of themes from all the previous shows, the upcoming display will integrate the names as titles in the horticulture, artistic design and special exhibit divisions. The organisers are hoping that the themes will inspire the exhibitors and are looking forward to seeing the designers’ interpretations.

Club president Ora Hollebon said, “Getting an early start for the celebration is crucial to our success and Dr Tomlinson’s generous donation has made this possible. The event will certainly depict the club’s rich history combined with the beauty and creativity of a standard flower show. It is a community affair and all are welcome.”

One of the Garden Club’s objectives for 2017 is to create gardens for the new building for Cayman HospiceCare, which is soon to break ground on West Bay Road.

The club was founded on 16 April 1957, one year before women had the right to vote and stand for election, and even predating when Cayman had paved roads. The club, which now has 77 members, started with 10 enthusiastic gardeners gathered together with the aim of encouraging home gardens and beautifying public highways.

The minutes of the first meeting noted that the club would work with the town planning committee to plant trees after new roads were laid down.

Some of the Garden Club’s projects in the early years included landscaping for the new airport, the fire station, the Red Cross and the Prince’s Royal Park (where the Legislative Assembly is today).

Club members shared plants and propagated trees, allowing many beautiful plants to take hold and become a part of Cayman’s landscape. Club members planted Poinciana trees near Heroes Square in central George Town, where several still stand today.

Over the years, the club’s contributions to the community have included continued support of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, The Pines Retirement Home and the Francis Bodden Girls (now Childrens) Home.


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