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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,  Gail Stafford,  Catherine Vassey,
                                                                                          Carmel Wilkinson 

39TH AGM  -  14th August 2018


     This report is presented on behalf of the committee, who have worked hard to bring an interesting and varied programme to the Society. On behalf of all members, I’d like to thank every one of the committee for their work and contributions during the year, along with the other members who have helped when needed.

     This has been a year of ups and downs. We were very sorry to lose Founder member Jeannie Samuel and long-term member Les Bowen. Both contributed considerably to the Society and will be sadly missed.

     On the up side, Karina Hilterman was elected President of the Herb Federation of NZ. Congratulations, Karina. We wish you a happy and productive stint at the helm. 

     We can also celebrate the launch of the new-look Bay Tree in its electronic form, ably managed by Gail Stafford. Thanks to Bev’s husband, Gary McElhinny for his help and on-going support. The website has also had a face-lift, again ably managed by Gail. It should now be more user friendly and up-to-date. Many of our popular recipes can now be found on the website.

     Thanks to Eunice and her helpers who have fronted the raffle table so effectively and those who have helped with the sales and tea tables. As for our delicious morning teas, I think all members really appreciate the efforts of volunteers who have provided us with such a range of tasty morsels. Carol Tuite, who manages the hospice garden roster does a great job. Thank you Carol.

     Our programme has covered a range of topics. In September, following last year’s AGM, the new owner of Otaki Hydroponics imbued us with her enthusiasm and ideas for her new business. At the October meeting we were treated to one of Sarah Hodge’s inspiring floral arrangements using material from her property.

    During that meeting we arranged to visit Sarah for the first session in 2018 to view the amazing variety of materials she uses. Sadly this did not eventuate. The previous night an horrendous storm did untold damage to her drive and surrounds so we were unable to get there. Luckily, Karina had a presentation, which the few people who braved the weather were able to enjoy. Members will have a chance to see this excellent PowerPoint production, on the preparation of herbs for well-being, later this morning,

     Our Christmas bring-a-plate lunch was a great social occasion.Thanks to all those who provided such a delicious spread. We have some wonderful cooks in our Society. 

     Mary interested us with an insight into traditional “Christmassy” herbs and we were well entertained by two students from Kapiti College Music Department. The girls sang a range of songs finishing with Christmas carols.

     In March, Carl Vasta from Tuatara Brewery treated us to the intriguing world of hops and beer.  His is a true story of how a backyard home brewing hobby became a thriving commercial enterprise employing 50 people. Carl’s hops, which come from Nelson area, are light and papery when harvested in the autumn and are compressed into pellets for use in the brewery.

     The hop vine is the International herb of the Year for 2018, so it was an appropriate introduction to Herb Awareness Week. The other herbs were Marshmallow, Puarangi and Gotu Kola, which have been covered at subsequent meetings.

     ‘Preserves’ was the topic for our April meeting when members were invited to bring along examples and talk about them. We needed an extra-long table to display the impressive variety of products that had been made.

     Our May speaker, Dorothy Kane, guided us through the process of dyeing, from soaking the herbs to get a colour; leaving the wool to soak in the coloured water and adding a mordent to seal in the dye. Dorothy showed us a beautiful jumper knitted in a variety of greens, yellows and browns, along with samples of the wool she’d used.     

     The theme for our soup tasting in June was ‘Vegetable soups with Herbs’, accompanied by the usual range of breads and herb butters. Three vegetable soups were on offer: pea and mint, leak and potato with parsley and Sarah’s winter soup, which contained several herbs and spices.

     In July, our speaker, Daisy Wood, spoke about herbs with particular value in warding off winter ills, including Echinacea, liquorice and chilli. She passed around dried samples to smell and taste and surprised us by how a smidgeon of chilli hand cream warmed the skin!

     Finally, it has been a pleasure 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!

Once again, thanks to everyone for your input and regular attendance. Our Society doesn’t exist without you.

The Committee