Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Durham Council of Garden Clubs Celebrates Final Annual Meeting

Highlights from the Annual Meeting (top to bottom):
Club Presidents and Council Executives gather for

refreshments before the business meeting at the
John Sprunt Hill House; Strawberry cheesecake cups courtesy
 of the Town & Country Garden Club;  
GCNC 2016 award recipients in the Council included
the Durham Council, the Forest Hills Garden Club
and Croasdaile Garden Club. Photos by the Durham Council.
The Durham Council of Garden Clubs convened for its final Annual Meeting May 2, at the John Sprunt Hill House. All eight member garden clubs were in attendance.

President Trish Stewart began the meeting with a historical presentation about the formation of the Council, officially dating 1945, but she recognized the first Durham garden club, was a club of Watts Street residents, organized in 1929.

On Wednesday morning May 15th, 1929, at the invitation of Mrs. S. C. Brawley, a group of women met at her home to consider the formation of a garden club.

With Mrs. Brawley acting as temporary chairman, the project was discussed and a motion passed to formally organize such a club. Officers were elected from the floor as follows
President - Mrs S. C. Brawley
Vice President - Mrs. C. N. Hibberd
Rec. Secretary - Mrs. S. M. Alexander

Treasurer - Mrs. W. E. Lipscomb

The President then appointed a committee consisting of Mrs. B. R. Jordan, Mrs. E. H. Young, and Mrs. Nello Teer to meet with the officers of the club to draw up a constitution.

All of those present were requested to consider a possible name for the organization and to telephone suggestions to Mrs. Brawley before the meeting of the constitution committee on Friday morning May 17, 1929.

It was decided to hold a second meeting of the club at the home of Mrs. E H. Young, on Tuesday,
May 21, 1929. The meeting then adjourned to Mrs Brawley's garden.
                                      - Organization Minutes of the Preliminary Meeting of the Garden Club

Stewart recalled childhood contacts involved with the formation of more than one garden club, and herself was an original member of the Forest Hills Junior Garden Club.

Agenda items of the meeting included wrapping up the Council’s finances, individual garden club annual reports, chairman reports and future steps for the Council historical properties, member communications and media.

Marcia Loudon, District 9 Director of The Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc. presented four state level awards during the meeting. Trish Stewart was honored with a lifetime membership to The Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc. which includes gifts made to the Daniel Boone Native Gardens (Boone), the Elizabethan Gardens (Manteo) and the Martha Frank Fragrance Garden (Raleigh) in her name. Three annual state awards (for 2016) were presented to the following Council recipients:
  • Durham Council of Garden Clubs - First Place, #173 Jennifer Corser Blog and Social Media Award
  • Forest Hills Garden Club – First Place, #180 Shorts ’ N Jeans Award for Dogwood/Crape Myrtle Planting
  • Croasdaile Garden Club – Second Place, #32 Frances Boyd Bluebird Award 
The Council Annual Meeting also featured the always highly anticipated gourmet tea party catering by Town & Country President Robin Marin.
President Trish Stewart was honored with a lifetime
membership to The Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc.
Closing Message from the President:
Our individual clubs’ memberships in GCNC and National Garden Clubs give us a strong sense of purpose, but the Council’s extra layer of bureaucracy is no longer necessary to either keep us involved or give us information. Dissolving the Council’s isn’t a sad day in the history of our garden clubs, because it’s not really an ending. We are taking different steps to continue a garden club tradition in Durham that was started 88 years ago. It is just a new day for us, and like every new day, it holds the promise of something exciting. I have loved being president of this group and I am very proud to be with you here today as we move our clubs forward in this new direction. - Trish Stewart.

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