President’s Report March/April 2019

50th anniversary

Welcome to all our members! Only a few days to go before our 50th anniversary and all that goes with it. As the newsletter says on the front page, the Society was inaugurated on the 2nd April 1969, although, as some people will have it, the first meetings of the organised Society were not held until the following year when the area for the Gardens was finally gazetted. All will be revealed when Julia launches her 50-year history of the Society later in the year.

Since my last report, the committee has been hard at work, preparing for both the anniversary celebrations and the Open Days. My thanks to Julia for the creation of the framework for 83 Bee Motels, and to Deb and the Monday Workers for cutting the lengths of bamboo, etc, to be used as the motel ‘rooms’ for the bees. All of this will come together on the 6th April at the ‘Bee Mania’ seminar in the Lodge. There are still tickets available at $25.00 for the day for Society members. 

REMEMBER THE TIME

On the 13th April, our usual meeting will become a social get-together to enable our members to meet and reminisce about the last however many years they can remember. It would be wonderful if these reminiscences could be included in the forthcoming history as well. The only business at the meeting is the induction of a new Life Member of the Society, and the launch of David Cook’s excellent pictorial history of the Gardens. I have been fortunate to have seen a copy and believe the book will both bring back memories and remain ‘current’ for many years to come.

OH&S responsibilities

With the Gardens so extensive and heavily timbered we must always be mindful of our OH&S responsibilities. To this end, we had to close the Gardens for a day recently so that a dangerous large eucalypt could be removed from near the new lookout. It had been infested with termites and treated over a number of years but still had started to develop a noticeable lean over the lookout with what could have been a catastrophic result had it fallen on anyone (visitors or volunteers) near or on the lookout. A number of large dead branches were also removed from trees in the valley at the same time. A few days later a branch fell on a volunteer’s car with the rear window having to be replaced.

NEW WEBSITE

The way we advertise the Society and the Gardens to the world is undergoing a number of improvements, with our website to be changed to take advantage of the last 8 years of technology enhancements. In addition, Cat Harker is working on ensuring uniformity of signage in the Gardens as well as designing new logos, letterheads and internal documentation formats.  

Blue Mountains Zone of the Garden Clubs of Australia

Once again the Society hosted the latest meeting of the Blue Mountains Zone of the Garden Clubs of Australia, held in the Lodge in early March. There were 26 enthusiastic people from garden clubs from the lower mountains to Lithgow and Oberon present. One item that was brought up was the possibility of the Society being liable for damage or injury insurance claims if a drone, being operated in the Gardens, with or without our knowledge, causes any damage or injury. Deb Wells is looking into what we need to do about this problem. Two rhododendrons, a ‘Taurus’ and a ‘Grace’, have been planted in the valley to recognise the work of Warren Boorman, a previous Zone co-ordinator and our honorary auditor for many years.

Alan Lush – President 2018-19    

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