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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)

The Railways and Horticulture — A Flourishing Club at Otahuhu

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The Railways and Horticulture
A Flourishing Club at Otahuhu

(Photo, courtesy “Auckland Star.”) A fine display of Chrysanthemums at the Otahuhu Railway Workshops.

(Photo, courtesy “Auckland Star.”)
A fine display of Chrysanthemums at the Otahuhu Railway Workshops.

Promoted with the idea of bringing together Railway Workshop employees who were interested in horticulture, the Otahuhu Railway Horticultural Club, was formed during the month of August, 1931. The founders of the club were Messrs. F. A. H. Blackford, R. Pointon and K. C. Brown—all at that time on the staff of the Otahuhu Railway Workshops.

Commencing with forty members, the club in a little over twelve months has grown to a membership exceeding 200.

At the annual meeting of the club, held at the end of the financial year, the rules were amended to include all railway employees, and also superannuated members. All branches of the Service are now represented, and at every meeting night more nominations are received. Any active or superannuated member of the Railway Service, also a member's wife and family (family meaning children under fourteen years of age) are eligible to join the club, the subscription for the year being 2/6 per member, including his wife and family.

Interesting Monthly Shows.

The meetings of the club, which take the form of a show and a lecture upon some gardening topic, are held on the third Tuesday of every month, in the Otahuhu Railway Workshop's Social Hall.

The monthly show consists of three classes, namely, flower class, vegetable class, and a decorated vase competition for the lady members of the club. In the flower competition the exhibit may be three flowers of the same species, such as three dahlias, etc., but not necessarily of the same variety. The first prize for this class is a handsome cup called the Pointon Flower Cup, which is named in honour of Mr. R. Pointon, ex-Timber Inspector for the Railways. This trophy is held by the member winning this section until the next monthly meeting, at which it is surrendered and presented for further competition. At the end of the club's year the member winning the Cup the most number of times during the year has his or her name engraved on it, and the competition commences again until an exhibitor has won the cup two years in succession or three years alternately. The rules and conditions governing the Vegetable Cup are the same as the Pointon Flower Cup rules, with the exception that it is not necessary for a member to exhibit three cabbages or cauliflowers, one exhibit being sufficient. In the decorated vase competition for ladies, the member decorating one of the club's standard vases most tastefully wins a vase presented by Mr. R. Moore, Car and Wagon Inspector, Auckland. The vase is held until the next meeting night, when it is again competed for. At page 35 the end of the year the lady winning the vase the most number of times on the general meeting nights wins the vase outright. The interest of the members and outside staff taken in these competitions is extremely keen, and whenever a number of members are congregating, it is not unusual to hear some of them describing the entries they propose to exhibit next meeting night.

The class of exhibits are of a very high standard, and are always improving, thanks to the efforts and advice of Mr. R. Pointon, one of the mainstays of the club, and the member to whom everyone turns for advice on all gardening topics.

After the business of the club is completed on monthly meeting nights, a lecturer delivers a talk on various gardening subjects. His talk extends over a period of an hour, and at the end of his lecture a time is set apart for questions. The most expert lecturers are obtained, and it says much for their enthusiasm that their services are given free of charge, their one desire being to assist the club in every way possible. The success of the club depends a great deal upon these lecturers, and the members are very grateful for their assistance and advice, which is very carefully followed.

The judge for the monthly shows is Mr. Pointon, who is a very enthusiastic gardener.

“A snow of blossoms and a wild of flowers.”—Tickell. (Photo, courtesy “Auckland Star.”) Display of blooms at the 2nd Annual Show of the Otahuhu Railway Horticultural Club.

“A snow of blossoms and a wild of flowers.”—Tickell.
(Photo, courtesy “Auckland Star.”)
Display of blooms at the 2nd Annual Show of the Otahuhu Railway Horticultural Club.

The Executive of the Club consists of the following members:—President: Mr. A. E. P. Walworth, Works Manager, Otahuhu; Vice-Presidents: Messrs. H. R. Johnson, Foreman, Otahuhu; R. A. Lendrum, Foreman, Hutt (late Otahuhu); R. Moore, Car and Wagon Inspector, Auckland; Chairman: Mr. F. Martin; Secretarytreasurer: Mr. K. C. Brown; Assistant Secretary: Mr. R. Holmes. Committee, representing Workshop members: Messrs. F. A. H. Blackford, R. Pointon, E. Ledbrook, R. N. St. George, W. Grubb, N. Lipscombe and R. Lawrence; representing superannuated members, Mr. B. Andrew; representing outside members, Mr. K. O'Hara.

Support and encouragement of the club and its work has, from its inception, been received from the Auckland Horticultural Society. It is a great pleasure to work in with the parent Society, the Executive of which co-operates most readily with the Railway Horticultural Club.

What has been done at Otahuhu to promote interest in horticulture among railwaymen is possible in other railway centres throughout the Dominion, and it is hoped that the keen gardeners concerned will follow in the Otahuhu staff's footsteps and form clubs of their own.

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