On the evening of April 12, 35 years ago, six people met in a local home with the intention of forming a garden club.
They were Lloyd and Verla Park, Jean Farquharson, Harry and Gwen Wright and John Dickenson.
There was some discussion at that first meeting about what their new club would provide for the membership. Noting from his experience with other clubs, Lloyd Park suggested hosting guest speakers who could inform the membership on specialized topics. Presentation ideas included roses, begonias, fuchsias, landscaping and pruning as was noted in the minutes of that inaugural meeting.
Someone at the meeting suggested the possibility of hosting a Fall Fair. Discussion flowed, culminating in the decision to hold the Fair the following September. Also determined was the aim for the Fair to pertain strictly to horticulture — flowers and vegetables only.
Suggestions of a name for the new garden club were also asked for from the attending six people. They were to spend the next week on this task in readiness for the next garden club meeting called for April 19.
At this subsequent meeting, with nine people in attendance, the Aims and Purpose (later changed to Benefits) for the club were laid out. Included in the Aims were “to create a vehicle through which we can promote general gardening interest on the Island” and “make Vancouver Island the Garden of Canada through creation of Flower Clubs, Vegetable Clubs, etc.”
An election for Committee Chair Members was also held. The results were: President – Jean Farquharson; Secretary – Harry Wright; Treasurer – Lloyd Park; Membership – Jock Smith.
There was lots of discussion pertaining to the Fall Fair at that second meeting and some talk about a name for their new club. Suggestions included Gardens Galore and Upper Island Sow and Grow to name but two.
The April 19 meeting ended without a name being chosen but with a fledgling garden club beginning to gather momentum.