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Committee Members

 President                                                                       Shared role within committee
 Secretary                                                                       Carmel Wilkinson
 Treasurer Membership and Name Tags                 Robyn Janse
 Herb of the month                                                       Members
 Bay Tree                                                                         Sheila Jolley
                                                                                          Gail Stafford
                                                                                          Carmel Wilkinson
Executive committee                                                    Diane Atkinson,  Beryl Fletcher,  Karina Hilterman,  Robyn Janse,
                                                                                          Sheila Jolley,  Bev McElhinney,  Marie Marsden,  Debbie Noon, Gail Stafford,  Catherine Vassey,
                                                                                          Carmel Wilkinson 


13th August 2019


On behalf of all members, may I begin by thanking the committee for their hard work and dedication in producing an excellent programme for the year. Our thanks are also due to the many other members who have volunteered their help and contributed so willingly when needed. 

Sadly, last October we lost our Patron, Anne Webb, one of the Society’s original Foundation members.
It is hard to do justice to Anne’s contribution to our Society. She was born in Kent and migrated to New Zealand with two young sons. Having settled in Raumati she created the most amazing herb garden in which she did tours, and from which she potted up plants for sale at the Society’s market stall. 

Her knowledge of growing and the use of herbs was profound; a knowledge that she shared so generously with anyone interested in herbs. She wrote several booklets on individual herbs, which can be found in the library. Her last major effort was the one on Manuka, produced for the Herb Federation Conference in Wellington in 2008.

As I’m sure you will have noticed, our Bay Tree is going from strength to strength, thanks to Gail Stafford’s hard work and the ongoing assistance and support of Gary McElhinney. Many thanks, Gary. The website is also coming into its own, containing morning tea and soup recipes along with other interesting articles and tips.

The Hospice Garden has been given a new lease of life from Diane Atkinson and her husband Alan. Hopefully in the future the herbs will be fully used by the kitchen at the Hospice and the patients able to appreciate the smell and sight of fresh flowers.

Our programme has covered a range of topics. The bus trip in October was an unqualified success, focussing on local businesses. Orchids and a plant nursery in Otaki were complemented by Big Slab garden furniture where a craft exhibition was laid out as part of the Arts Trail. While there, the earth moved for all of us courtesy of an earthquake!  

Unusual vegetables was the subject of November’s meeting when Nannette Wright introduced us to some of her more uncommon edibles.

Our Christmas bring-a-plate lunch at the hall was a great social occasion. Again, thanks to all those who provided such a delicious spread. This was complimented by a floral art demonstration enthusing us with ideas for formal decorations. 

Our monthly meetings got off to a great start in February with ‘The Alchemy of Tea’, presented by Daisy Wood.  March, being the month of Herb Awareness Week gave us an opportunity to concentrate on the varied mix of anise hyssop, wild strawberry, green tea and rimu with research by members of the Committee.

In April Diane Atkinson joined with the popular presenter from Mitre 10, Cheryl to make some delicious pasta using Italian herbs. This was followed in May by an interesting talk from Hebe Botanicals, who research, manufacture and sell their own pharmaceutical products.

The theme for our soup tasting in June was ‘Soups of the Mediterranean’, accompanied by the usual range of breads and herb butters. The soup recipes are on the website.

In July Nisa Promchot, a librarian with the Council, told us of a project to swap and share seeds to preserve the plants that grow well in this area. 

Finally, we are delighted to see several new members this year. The Committee hopes that you have all enjoyed a programme that tries to offer something for everyone. We are very open to suggestions for topics and speakers.

Please help us to keep you interested!

Thank you all for your support and loyal attendance.

The Committee