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Garden Club folds

Wednesday, 16th September, 2020

Silver City Garden Club Secretary Ann Hohnberg will continue tending to her beautiful garden, even without the beloved local garden club. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson Silver City Garden Club Secretary Ann Hohnberg will continue tending to her beautiful garden, even without the beloved local garden club. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

The Silver City Garden Club has decided to fold after almost 35 years, due to a lack of members and no one volunteering for key positions. 

Secretary of Silver City Garden Club Ann Hohnberg said things haven’t been good at the moment, especially with COVID-19 which has interrupted their fortnightly meetings. 

The Garden Club has been in Broken Hill since 1985, 35 years of locals gathering to share all their best gardening tips and tricks.

“The Garden Club started as a social club of people with like-minded interests in gardening,” Ann said.

“They would take their problems and that’s how they learnt how to look after their gardens.

“Somebody might know a lot about roses and someone else might know a lot about lemon trees and it was just a mixture of go and learn and socialise.

“There were a lot of members back then but they’ve all passed away.”

Ann started with the club in 2008 because her husband began grow seedlings, quandong plants and Sturt peas.

But at the club’s last AGM, they could not fill all the positions on the committee.

“There was only me as a secretary,” Ann said.

“We couldn’t get a president, a treasurer or a vice president so the people there had a talk and some of them weren’t happy with the situation that we had to close.

“But then they were really only looking at it for a social outing.

“We don’t need a committee to go and have a cup of tea or coffee, we can all do that together without continuing as a club.

“They’re all getting older, there’s 90-year-olds, 80-year-olds, I think the youngest is probably 50.”

She said the club did not get young people to their meetings because they held them in the afternoon.

“The older people don’t like going out at night, but younger ones work and if we changed it to night time meetings trying to get more people in then we would lose our regulars,” she said.

“After a lot of discussion, whys and wherefores, it was moved that we close the club.”

The Garden Club’s most well-known event for those not in the club is the annual garden and rose competitions.

The Garden Competition would have normally been held last weekend, and the long weekend in October would have been the Rose Competition.

Ann believes that local gardeners would initially be understanding of the competitions being cancelled, but she’s worried they may not be happy that the club is closing because there won’t be a competition next year.

“But unless people come and help we can’t do it, it is a big job,” she said. 

The club has decided to donate leftover funds to local charities.

One of the eldest members of the Garden Club, Ruth Milne, has been a member for decades, and has loved every minute.

She said she will be sad to see it go.

“I think people will be disappointed there’s no competition but that’s sort of the way it goes,” she said.

“I’m upset and sorry that it’s going to finish.

“I’ll miss it but, like they say, all good things come to a finish.

“It was a good little club, there wasn’t a lot of us but it was good and it will be sad to see it go, but there’s not much we can do about it at the moment.”

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