About‎ > ‎

Committee Members for 2020/2021

 President                                                                       Beryl Fletcher  - phone:      9041695
 Secretary                                                                       Marie Marsden - phone:      9046890
 Treasurer Membership and Name Tags                 Debbie Noon
 Bay Tree                                                                         Gail Stafford        gailstafford@gmail.com
Executive committee                                                    Di Amos, Hanna Emke, Karina Hilterman,  Robyn Janse,
                                                                                          Bev McElhinney, Lesley Johnston

Herb of the month                                                       Members present a different herb each month                                                                              



HELD ON AUGUST 11, 2020 

Welcome to the 41st AGM. I probably don’t have to mention that this has been an unusual year!! 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, three of our monthly meetings were cancelled. We were sorry to miss the arranged speakers and our usual soup tasting in June, but will be able to hear from Steve and Sandy from Hebe Botanicals later today and Cheryl from Mitre 10 sometime in the coming year. When we were able to reconvene in July it was wonderful to catch up with friends and greet several new comers. At the meeting we were treated by Maria Brocklebank from NZ Native Oils to a demonstration on how to make a basic balm. 

One of the highlights of the year was our 40th Birthday celebrations at the October meeting 2019. We had invited all the retired members we could think of and the room buzzed with conversation as everyone gathered. It was a joyous occasion and such a pleasure to welcome many familiar faces, friends from the Hutt Herb Society and foundation member, Leonie Harris, as well as our current members. 

June Scott, our secretary for 18 years, kicked off the morning with reminiscences of days past, followed by a joke from Maisie’s book of jokes (available in our library).This was followed by our newest committee member, Debbie Noon, reading Leonie Harris’s memories of the Society’s early days. Leonie had researched the history using old Bay Trees and scrapbooks bringing to light occasions and successes that were unknown to many of us. Anne Webb’s garden in Raumati was featured and her herbarium of pressed herbs was on display. 

Thank you June and Leonie for giving us such an interesting look at the people who helped to shape the Society. 

The November meeting involved a presentation of infused oils and vinegars by our own members. Carmel and Diane gave us garlic and herb infusions, while Karina added health giving herbs to vinegar as a basis for dressings. 

The Herb Federation Conference, in which Karina Hilterman was heavily involved as President of the Federation, was hosted by the Hutt Valley Society. Kapiti was asked to help with organising bus tours. Our own bus trip took members to the Home of Compassion in Island Bay and then to Government House where we were shown over the historic building and gardens, including the herb garden. 

Diane and Alan Atkinson were key players in the excellent barbecue enjoyed by everyone for our Christmas function. They sourced both vegetarian and gluten free sausages so no-one missed out. Alan worked his magic with the BBQ tongs, while salads and breads provided by the Committee were ideal accompaniments. 

2020 got off to an interesting start with Daisy Wood’s talk on herbs that promote healthy sleep. Although she brought a range of herbs with her, she recommended five that grow readily in the garden including lavender and lemon balm, to which most of us would have access. 

March includes Herb Awareness Week and our meeting focused on this year’s selection of Blackberry/Raspberry, Apple, Ginger and the Native Raspberry or Bush Lawyer. Four groups each studied one plant and reported back on outstanding or unusual features 

The next three meetings, April, May and June had to be cancelled. 

The Mary Potter Hospice herb garden is an ongoing commitment and this year a special vote of thanks is due to Diane and Alan Atkinson who took on a much needed makeover of the garden. They approached local organizations for help with the heavy work and obtained sponsorship for plants, all of which takes time and dedication. Sincere thanks to you both. 

Thanks are also due to anyone who has helped with raffles, making morning tea and clearing up; to Gary McElhinney who has continued to give his support and help to Gail in the production of The Bay Tree; to all those who bring items for the sales table and others who contribute in some way to the interest and well-being of the Society. However, on behalf of all the members, may I thank all the Committee members for their hard work and commitment throughout the year. 

NB. A glaring omission to the report that I read at the AGM is the production of our newsletter, The Bay Tree, and the monthly meeting reminders. Gail Stafford has put many hours of work into ensuring that this vital lifeline of communication continues. Debbie Noon and Karina Hilterman have ensured that we are part of the electronic age by contributing to the Facebook page and, with Gail managing the website. Many thanks to you three for keeping us connected. 

Sadly, four Committee members will be standing down at this AGM. Carmel is resigning as Secretary and Robyn is retiring from her role as Treasurer but will stay on the Committee. Robyn has been Treasurer for many years. It’s a key position that involves not only keeping the books straight but dealing with the bank and keeping track of membership and contact details. Thank you Robyn for your dedication and reliable precision. 

In the absence of a President, Carmel, along with her many and varied secretarial tasks, has coped with much of the “go-to” role. Thank you Carmel for the hours you have put in, your efficiency, and your willingness to shoulder the responsibility. Diane Atkinson, who plays a big part in organizing the programme and events, is resigning due to ill health and Catherine Vasey for family reasons. Thank you all for your contributions. You’ll be missed. 

I’m also stepping down after more years than I care to admit and wish to sign off on a nostalgic note: 

“We’re changing the guard at Kapiti Herbs But

never mind members, do not be disturbed

There’s others awaiting out there in the wings

To take on the jobs amongst other things”

Says Herbie 

Have you all met Herbie, our resident gnome?

He lives with his wife in a little grey home

Made of wormwood and sage, beside a bay tree

“It’s cosy and warm and keeps us bug-free” 

Says Herbie 

Wild creatures come visiting from far and wide

Little hedgehogs, and snails and rabbits, wide–eyed 

“They come to learn cooking with herbs for a treat Or

maybe a balm to soothe little sore feet” 

Says Herbie 

“Now I’m retired, when all’s said and done I’ll

smoke my clay pipe and lay back in the sun.

So thank you kind friends for all the good cheer

Long may you continue for many a year.” 

Says Herbie 

Sheila Jolley 

     A special thank you has to be given to Sheila Jolley for her never ending assistance to all of us and her guidance has been invaluable to everyone connected to this unique society. 
     We must mention her writing skills, full of humour and one of a kind.  
     Sheila is exactly what was required to keep us all on track.  
     Believe me, you will be sorely missed.


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