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Club History

The South Coast Orchid Club Early History
(from notes written by Mrs. Jean Tregenza in 1973)

        The South Coast Orchid Club was formed in July 1965 at the old District Council of Encounter Bay offices in Crozier Rd. Victor Harbor, South Australia. (This building has since been demolished).

        The formation of the Club came about through the efforts of Mr. Jack Earl of Victor Harbor, who was interested in growing and flowering orchids.  He took the time and effort to contact others whom he knew were either growing orchids or trying to grow them.  To Jean, growing them was one thing, flowering them another!.
        Jean and her husband, Eric, were amongst the first gathering of 13 people to form what is now known as "The South Coast Orchid Club". Syd and Shirley Monkhouse were also present that night and they were extremely helpful in the formation of the Club.

        After a few meetings, it became evident that somewhere different was needed as a meeting place. The new venue was the supper room of the R.A.O.B  Hall in Leeworthy St., Victor Harbor. We canvassed for new members amongst keen gardeners and the membership grew to 32.
        Some of the members retired or did not enjoy good health and there came a time when it was evident that the membership had declined rather drastically. There was difficulty in finding relief for the office-bearers and it was necessary to either disband the Club or transfer it. As it was quite financial for its size it was determined to try and find greener pastures. We have Graham and Leora Harvey to thank for their efforts in finding the Club its new home in Morphett Vale.
        Graham and Leora joined the ranks of the Club at Victor Harbor after a time and the Club received much help from them both. Instead of the blind leading the blind, we felt more confident with Graham's experience behind us, and at display time we relied heavily on Lorna's talent.
        Talking of display times brings to mind the first display. This was held in the showroom of Bells' store at Victor Harbor on a very small, low table, staging no more than a dozen plants. The centrepiece, "an eye catcher", was a large plant of a beautiful Cymbidium Sussex. The second display was in the foyer of the Hoyts Ozone Theatre, Ocean St., Victor Harbor and we staged some quite successful displays at that venue. We attracted considerable interest at this time amongst the locals and each year gave a donation to the local St. John Ambulance Service.
        There is one very important factor that has not been mentioned at this time and that is the very generous help and support that was given by some well known and long standing members of the "Orchid Club of South Australia". Many are now also members of SCOC and others attend as visitors. They came, some on extremely cold, wet nights to address meetings and help with donations. A wealth of information was given by them. It is a source of pleasure to those that have seen the club, from such a small beginning, balloon into "The South Coast Orchid Club" that it is in 1973; to see all those people who have helped build the Club at Victor Harbor come into our membership to create the interest that we have today.
        There is no doubt that growing orchids is a fascinating hobby. The one thing that has impressed me is the feeling of one between so many people of so many walks of life, also the chance one has of meeting and having a common interest with people from so many different and far away places.
        To all members, new and old, I wish the Club lots of success in the future and this will surely happen, with the fine work and effort that is being put into the Club by so many interested and willing workers.

Continuing Club History
(written by Leora Harvey)



        It was during the month of December 1969 that an excited nucleus of "The South Coast Orchid Club" went along to the first meeting at the new venue in Morphett Vale.  They were thrilled to find an interested group of 33 people, consisting of many locals, quite a number from Adelaide and several living in or near Victor Harbor.
        Elections were held and so the first office bearers and Committee came into being in this new era of "The South Coast Orchid Club". The R.S.L Hall was on trial but served us well for a number of years, especially with the addition of the ceiling. Lighting did not do the orchid blooms full justice, but this problem was, and still is, a problem common to many clubs.

         Our first Patron was Sir Francis Matters who visited us on several occasions.
      We had many interesting evenings with such visiting speakers as Rex Thompson, Neil Christoph, Colin Jennings and Harry Badenoch to name but a few. We also had many delightful evenings involving our own members. Everyone had done "his bit", from officers, committee members, editor, plant stewards, ticket sellers, supper person and potting demonstrators to mention a few, to the keen, regularly attending club members.
         We always had fine floral displays with conscientious judging and informative plant commentaries.
        The highlight of each year was the ever expanding Spring Show, from the first one in an empty shop in the Reynella Shopping Centre, then to the one in the rear of Hazelgrove's store, then to Marion. Shows provide great times of comradeship, in the setting up, judging, putting in of the displays and eventually the medal and trophy presentations.
          Our Library grew over the years under keen supervision and the trading table proved popular.
          Many of the ladies thoroughly enjoyed monthly floral art, handcrafts, afternoon tea and chatter sessions (not necessarily in that order), that became an essential part of our Club some years ago.

           That popular finale to our meetings, supper, always went smoothly thanks to the ladies concerned except for the time when members of a club which was meeting in the small hall adjacent to the kitchen 'stole' our boiling water from the urn, causing temporary panic stations.

           One meeting we were 'entertained' by a pop music group nearby and one stormy night it necessitated the cancellation of a talk by one of our respected members. These were the days before the installation of a soundproof ceiling.
         This Club has grown from a small friendly group in that tiny hall in Victor Harbor to a much larger friendly group in a much larger hall at Morphett Vale and God willing may it continue to flourish.
           The Daytime Chapter was established and had its first meeting on 15th October 1987 with President Keith Northcote and guest speaker Syd Monkhouse.
          In July 2001 the club moved to its present accomodation at St.Marys. The ground work for this move was carried out by Merv Steel, Murray Baulderstone and Graham Shevlin.
           The Species Group was formed in 2004 with it's first meeting on the 4th of March that year. It was organised and chaired by member and later life member Ron Parish.
2005 and beyond
           South Coast Orchid Club continues to grow. 
          In 2005 the Committee decided to celebrate its Ruby Anniversary year by re-establishing the Southern Region Group at Victor Harbor.
          Founding members Syd and Shirley Monkhouse were once again present at the first meeting of this new Southern Region Group.  The Southern Region Group continues to grow and in March 2009 had 35 members.
          As can be seen from this website on our "Meetings" page  monthly meetings are held at St Marys, Victor Harbor and Brighton.
Past Presidents of the South Coast Orchid Club
1965 - 2015
Jul 1965 -    ?                               Mr Robinson of Victor Harbor (First President)
Jan 1970 - Dec 1970                     Graham Harvey
Jan1971 - Dec 1971                      Bernie Hansen
Jan 1972 - Dec 1972                     Mr. O. K. Shaw
Jan 1973 - Feb 1975                      Les Poole
Mar 1975 - Feb 1978                     John Leeder
Mar 1978 - Feb 1981                     Keith Northcote
Mar 1981 - Feb 1984                     Harry G  Viney
Mar 1984 - Feb 1986                     Malcolm Mangelsdorf
Mar 1987 - Feb 1989                     Keith Northcote
Mar 1989 - Aug 1989                     Lewis Moore
Sep 1989 - Feb 1991                      Keith Northcote
Mar 1991 - Apr 1991                      Colin Hames
May 1991 - Feb 1993                     Neil Wolfendale
Mar 1993 - Feb 1994                      Peter Flavel
Mar 1994 - Feb 1998                      Helen Edwards
Mar 1998 - Feb 2001                      Jane Higgs
Mar 2001 - Feb 2005                      Murray Baulderstone
Mar 2005 - Feb 2016                      Geoff Spear
Mar 2016 - Current                        Michael Willoughby
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