THIRTY members attended the Woodburn Orchid Society's first meeting for 2013, getting the new year off to a good start.
Between them they benched 64 beautiful plants causing the judges to really struggle to make their selections.
The Popular Vote on the Day was shared by three orchids which had been displayed by two growers, Albert and Sally Irons with Dendrobium CK AI M/C and Vasco. Pine River, var. Wasana M/C together with Murray and Jean Shergold's Vanda Rothschildiana.
Albert's and Sally's Dendrobium CK AI M/C was also awarded Judges' Choice.
Members congratulated these three growers on the high standard of their plants.
Assistant plant registrar, Josh Felsch, announced the results of the day's judging.
Josh, together with his sister, Brooke, are highly valued younger members of the society.
An orchid-growers beginners' workshop will be planned in the next few months.
The society is seen as possessing a wealth of orchid-growing knowledge and experience which could be made available for the benefit of others in the community who may be thinking of commencing an orchid collection but who are not quite sure how to begin.
The workshop would also offer opportunities to young people to learn some simple skills to get them started.
A sub-committee was formed comprising Murray Shergold, Ken Woods and Bob May.
They will report on its progress to each monthly meeting of the society until the workshop becomes a reality.
Although the society's annual Spring Show is usually attended by hundreds of visitors, it was felt that more could be done to encourage show guests to take up the fascinating hobby of orchid growing for themselves.
The idea of having one or two show guides on duty at annual shows was put forward as one valuable suggestion to meet this end.
The society has lost three much-loved members in the latter part of 2012 and the first few weeks of this year.
Thelma Graham, who at 97 years of age, had been the only surviving foundation member of the society, and who attended each annual show despite her failing eyesight, will be greatly missed by the entire membership.
Alice Robinson, who with her sister, Mollie Price, had worked tirelessly for more years than anyone can remember providing refreshments at all monthly meetings and annual shows, passed away at the end of October.
Marjorie Cowan, who grew some magnificent orchids and had been ill for some time, also lost her battle for life.
The Woodburn Orchid Society extends its sympathy to each of these families.
The next meeting of the Woodburn Orchid Society will be held in the Woodburn Memorial Hall (while the CWA Rooms are awaiting repairs following damage caused during the November 2012 storm) this Sunday, February 17 at 1pm.
Visitors are welcomed as VIPs - Valuable Interested Persons.
So come along!