It is indeed a rare thing for someone to have 30 years continuous membership of a club or society. Coffs Harbour Garden Club are very proud to recognise this milestone for stalwart member and Patron, Patricia Roser OAM.
Pat hit the ground running when she joined the garden club 30 years ago – she volunteered in her first year to be the Garden Clubs of Australia (GCA) Zone Coordinator in the North Coast Region. Pat made it her mission to visit every single club at least once a year in ‘her’ zone attending meetings, functions and special events, promoting the GCA motto ‘friendship through gardens’. The Woolgoolga Garden Club was established during this time and Pat assisted with the grass roots details of establishing a club.
Members of the Coffs Harbour Garden Club enjoy membership benefits by attending outings, travel to other regions, guest speakers etc etc with like minded folk. For these activities to happen, it takes a strong team at the helm to organise and implement these activities. Pat epitomises the ultimate in volunteer organisational skills as she has undertaken most Executive positions including long stints as President. Pat has been a highly dedicated and very hard worker in all aspects of making the Garden Club an enjoyable group to be a part of.
Pat was on hand to head up a steering committee team for the hugely successful Garden Clubs of Australia (GCA) Conference held in Coffs Harbour 2003. This event involved all members of the club who stepped up to create an outstanding event not only for GCA affiliates, but for Coffs Harbour regional tourism.
The Spring Garden Competition has been conducted in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area for 31 years and Pat has been a passionate and committed supporter for 29 of those years. This competition, perhaps the largest garden competition held in regional NSW, not only includes residential gardens but involves schools, community groups, commercial, industrial and tourist accommodation gardens. It also includes the highly admired Coffs roundabouts which are proudly maintained by council staff. A Schools’ vegetable growing competition was added which Pat implemented eg ‘Popeye’s Pick’, ‘Bouncing Baby Beets’ and ‘Grow Peas Please’. This part of the Spring Garden Competition proved to be very popular with some outstanding results and the ultimate aim to engage students and garner a love of gardening a satisfying outcome.
There have been some notable garden club trips away to other regions that Pat helped implement and organise including Tasmania, the Hunter Region, Armidale, Floriade in Canberra, the Sunshine Coast, Melbourne Flower and Garden Show and Ballarat for the Begonia Festival, to name but a few.
As with most clubs, to have a financial cushion to not only run the club but to support local community activities and projects is vital. Pat has not only stood up to undertake physical work to raise funds, but has been instrumental in ways that the club could support and encourage the love of gardens in the wider community.
In recognition of Pat’s unstinting and unfailing energy and commitment she has received:
- 1995 – The Molly Morrison Award for Special Effort with the Zone as a GCA Zone Coordinator.
- 2003 – The Kay McCallum Award for Service to the Garden Clubs of Australia. This award was for organising the bi-annual GCA conference in Coffs Harbour.
- 2006 – was made a life member of the club in recognition of her exemplary member participation.
- 2012 – received The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the Coffs Harbour community including that of Coffs Harbour Garden Club.
- 2019 – she was a recipient of the GCA Ann Williams Clark Medallion for her outstanding service by a member of an affiliated garden club.
- 2019 – in acknowledgement and recognition of her continued wonderful contribution over many years Pat was appointed Patron of the Garden Club.
- Pat has also been a recipient of a Certificate ‘In recognition of outstanding service as a Judge of the GCA Awards’.
Coffs Harbour Garden Club have been exceedingly fortunate to have such a committed member and Patron. The membership of Coffs Garden Club wholeheartedly thank you for your service and faithfulness over the past 30 years, THANK YOU, Pat.