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February 1977

Silver Anniversary Celebration: This year the celebration show will be non-competitive and members will be asked to work together on the various feature displays.

Dependence on the all important weather will be shown by the cycle of seasonal conditions, drought, bushfire, year of plenty and cyclones. “We know all these extremities only too well” Mrs Burnett said, “but the one we are most concerned with at the moment is the cyclone.”

There were no bouquets of flowers waiting for US Astronaut Neil Armstrong when he first stepped on the moon. but the Maleny and District Horticultural Society is planning to make up for that when they stage their Moon Landing tableau as part of the Society’s Silver anniversary show on March 18. In a section recalling happenings over the past 25 years the Society is planning a futuristic floral display featuring Neil Armstrong’s Giant leap for Mankind.

Highlighted with Blue Chiffon drapes, silver spacey spirals, floral rocket ships and such, will contribute to one of the most spectacular of the many tableau yet produced. Adventurous schemes like this are nothing new to the Maleny Society. After 25 years of gambling with uncertain weather and the usual ups and downs of good and lean years, members feel they can meet most challenges as far as the art of Floral arrangement is concerned.

A Foundation member, Mrs Peg Burnett recalls one bad year when a cyclone wiped out most of the flowers in the district only days before the Horticultural show was due to open. Members rallied to the cause with spectacular arrangements of dried plants, leaves and fruit to put on one of the best shows ever.

“The spirit of co-operation on that occasion was marvellous,” Mrs Burnett commented “It meant that members who otherwise would not have entered anything because their flowers weren’t up to standard, made a special effort.”

One ingenious piece submitted was titled, Not a darned thing in the Garden. It showed just what can be done with leaves, twigs and bits of this and that.

Because they want to raise funds to aid the School of Arts the Society buys no flowers for these shows, relying wholly on flowers and vegetation offered by Maleny residents. The original founder, the late Mr Alan Lockwood, was for years the producer of superb dahlias he had hybridised himself. The mainstay of more recent shows has been the contribution from Mrs Ellen Riordan’s garden. The winner of several Champion garden competitions, Mrs Riordan has what must be a never ending supply of ivy used in all sorts of arrangements.

March 1977

Autumn Fair and Floral Carpet: At the entrance to the School of Arts Hall a display commemorated both the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Maleny Horticultural Society. The four foot high three-tier birthday cake, iced with pink and white dahlias and topped with a silver vase of flowers, and a silver “25” set the scene inside the door, while the stage was a beautiful garden setting with white garden furniture and ornaments highlighting the massed greenery and flowers, and flower edged garden path. In front of the stage, magnificent floral arrangements delighted the eye.

One side of the hall showed three major events of the twenty five years.

The coronation was exemplified by a setting in the Abbey, with the Coronation Chair, jewelled replicas of the Crown, Orb and Sceptre, surrounded by the rich colours of purple, gold and crimson.

The moon landing was shown in shades of blue, silver and purple. The large silver rocket and the detailed figure of an astronaut in a white spacesuit descending the ladder from his spaceship to the desolate cratered landscape edged with purple moon rocks created much interest.

The Sydney Opera House was a spectacular sight, with creamy white Monsteria shells forming the roof, the wide high steps leading to a pavement of closely placed grey green leaves the building lapped by a blue hydrangea sea, which in turn lapped a sandy beach.

For those who lived on the Sunshine Coast in the ‘Year Of The Cyclone’ the symbolism needed no explanation as the angry sea gave way to golden sunshine which showed the devastation the winds had caused – the broken telephone and power lines, the greenery and trees still bent as the wind had forced them and fences smashed well inland. At the top of the mountain reached by a winding brown road was the Maleny Hospital partially unroofed.

‘The Year Of The Drought And Bushfire’ was also a notable display. Drought was shown by dried arrangements, driftwood and dry brown land, while the bushfire blazed against a red background a large arrangement of red and orange flowers flaring into plumes of smoke formed by pampas grass, red rocks were scattered over a charred ground which held large pieces of blackened wood, some still glowing red underneath”.

[Source Nambour Chronicle] [No photographic record discovered]

September 1977

The twenty fifth Annual Meeting and Election of Officers was held at the Maleny School of Arts on the 27 September

Officers elected were:

    • Patron: Mr A. Webster
    • President: Mrs T. Skerman
    • First Vice President: Mrs E. Hawkins
    • Second Vice President: Miss McNoll
    • Secretary: Mrs V. Dougherty
    • Assistant Secretary: Mrs D. Armstrong
    • Treasurer: Mrs V. Engle

Jubilee: Maleny and District Horticultural Society celebrated its silver jubilee with a mini flower show staged at the annual meeting. Ten of the original members were able to attend, and the wife of Foundation President Mr A. Lockwood, and current President Mrs T. Skerman, cut a special cake, made by Mrs P. Prentis and iced by Mrs F. Rough.

Spring Fair: The dry conditions appeared to make little difference in the display of flowers at the Spring Fair staged by the Maleny Horticultural Society in aid of the Maleny and District Ambulance. Increased entries on last year were noted in several sections.

A new class, Australian Natives, proved popular, and the work in the floral art section was very good, making the Hall a delight to visit. Members of the Ambulance auxiliary, coming from Maleny Montville and Conondale conducted stalls and the CWA served morning tea and lunch.