President’s Report (AGM 2022)

Matt Sharp

Good Evening Everyone! As you may have noticed I’m not here tonight but luckily we have our wonderful Vice President Luke Parsons who is better at speaking than me anyway. For those who don’t know I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer but last week I had a successful operation and I’m well on the road to recovery, so I’ve had quite the adventure.

And speaking of adventures the club committee has had to negotiate the ever changing COVID rules throughout the year, including social distancing and wearing of masks which we’ve taken in our stride, but still no biscuits, which annoys me greatly. Yet again we weren’t able to get any interstate or overseas visitors to our club, so we organised two successful weekend workshops run by myself and Luke. I thoroughly enjoyed them although I still feel bad for breaking a branch on one of Rob’s black pines.

We followed that up with a couple of the best club digs I’ve been involved in, the first in Mt Crawford collecting pines and the second at a new location in the Onkaparinga national park  targeting the trillions of wild olives that grow there. My ever patient wife rolled her eyes as I unloaded more wild trees into our backyard after previously telling her that I had no more room.

Yet again we had a great annual show, showcasing the quality of our members’ trees and giving us a chance to offload some of the previously mentioned excess stock. We didn’t get as many members of the General Public as the previous year, but 2020 was exceptional in that there wasn’t much competition and people seemed starved of things to spend their money on. Regardless ,we had solid numbers and once again we are in great financial position for 2022, which will be confirmed in this year’s financial report.

None of this would be possible without the passion of our members and our committee. Once again it has been a pleasure to work with our committee members, their tireless commitment and good humour have kept the ship steady through uncertain waters. I know that other garden clubs are really struggling at the moment so I’m very proud of the fact that our club not only survives, but thrives.  It’s a cliché that an organisation is only as good as it’s people, but I believe that our success is due to the friendly and generous nature of our members, and I ask that everyone keeps this as a constant as the world swirls around us. Please continue to be generous in your knowledge and welcoming new people into the club and sharing your ideas.

It’s a strange passion to be growing little trees in pots but it seems to attract the best people.

Thanks to everyone and I look forward to seeing you soon.