MARY SHIRVILLE ( NEWNES) 25TH December 2020 sadly passed away.
A lady of many talents: Mary was a founder member of Solihull Flower Club (before the creation of NAFAS) becoming President and subsequently Life Member.
Mary was also The founder member of Knowle Flower Club in 1964 becoming Chairman and President and Associate of Honour. She was Chairman and represented the Midland Area in 1961 before the areas divided into North and South. She was the first Chairman of the South Midlands Area of NAFAS in 1962 .
She was elected National Chairman in 1963, and served as National President from 1983-1985 after which she became a National Associate of Honour in recognition of her service to NAFAS.
Mary had enthusiasm for NAFAS and the RHS with a gentle character but with strong opinion when it came to the right thing for NAFAS and wise counsel in times of division and trouble.
Mary was Editor of the Flower Arranger, National Judge and adjudicator, RHS Council Member, and Chair of the Flower Arrangement Judging Committee. She encouraged the training and careers of many Area and National Judges.
She was a wonderful flower arranger and instrumental in the staging of many festivals and exhibitions always promoting NAFAS.
A keen and knowledgeable gardener particularly regarding snowdrops, her many roles for the RHS are too numerous to mention, but just a few – Mary was a member of the Floral Arrangement Panel from 1986 – 2005 and served as Chairman from 1990 – 2001. In the mid 1980 she was a member of the Ridley Review Committee looking into the structure and activities of the RHS and became a Member of Council in 1988 retiring in 1995 She received her Victoria Medal of Honour from the RHS in 1993 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to that organisation.
Mary was a very charming and multi-talented lady who will be sadly missed but always fondly remembered.
A seasonal floral demonstration by Margaret Rumens entitled 'A Christmas Bauble'. This was presented to members following the South Midlands Area AGM, held on Friday 20th November. Click on the You Tube link below to watch the demo.
It is with great pleasure and some trepidation that I now take over the role of Chairman of the South Midlands Area of NAFAS . Those three years ago when I agreed to take over have passed very quickly. It has been a destructive year for all of us but in saying that we have all learnt new skills and technology enabling us to communicate and keep in touch and somehow we have coped with the situation.
We must hope that 2021 will be inspiring and exciting for all of us and with that in mind I have some dates to share with you and fellow club members.
Firstly the South Midlands Advent calendar is up and running. Please look at it on Facebook or the website and share with your friends. 24 demonstrators agreed to do one arrangement per day and they are well worth looking at.
On the 18th December we have a Christmas demonstration with Emma Remington the title is “CHRISTMAS CAROL” a perfect way to start the Christmas week all details will be sent to your club chairman with the zoom invitation. What could be better ... glass of wine, mince pie and a flower demonstration.
I have attached a letter from the National Chairman Katherine Kear (CLICK HERE) which some of you may already have seen. I thought it would be a good idea to share what the National committee is planning on doing over the next few months . The main thing at the moment is the "Chairman's” Challenge". Katherine is inviting members from all areas of the country to enter her competition starting in December. All the details are on the letter. It's just a bit of fun really with a little bit of competition for those who enjoy that element of their flower arranging. Margaret Rumens and Simone Squire have kindly agreed to be the judges with photographs of entries being emailed to Amanda Punter before the last day of the competition month. We have changed it slightly in that rather than Club Chairman having to sort through the photographs, the two judges will do that when received from Amanda Punter. It would be good if the South Midlands could make a show of it.
For 2021 we hopefully will be able to hold a Members Day dates as yet have not been finalised
Towards the end of the year which at the moment is hard to image we will be holding our Area Show
All the information for the events we will be holding will come out on our “POT POURRI” e-newsletter and Web and Facebook pages and for those that do not use this technology we will rely on you and your fellow members and friends to keep everyone up to date.
I really look forward so much to meeting you all in person in the New Year and seeing you all at Emma's Demonstration.
Keep safe and well and have a Happy Christmas
Chairman - South Midlands Area of NAFAS
by Vicki Tuffen
Winner of the National Chairmans Challenge for January - Subject - Burns Night