Karana Downs Garden Club Inc. was officially formed in 1989 though it started unofficially the previous year. Our Display / Competition Table began with two sections in 1990/1991.
Myrtle Halford was a foundation member of our Garden Club (she had great gardening skills) and helped establish a format – some of which is still used today.
Myrtle died in January 1992 after a battle with lymphoma. The Display / Competition Table was by this time proving encouraging and popular. Helen Hepburn suggested that a perpetual trophy be established in Myrtle’s memory. This was to be awarded to the overall winner who had accumulated the greatest number of points throughout the year.
Several of our members were keen and efficient needleworkers, including Myrtle, so it seemed appropriate that the trophy reflect this. Helen suggested a cross-stitch tapestry. Myrtle’s daughter, Carole Scheinpflug worked the Graham Ross orchid design. The inaugural winner of this trophy was appropriately Helen Hepburn.
Jarvis Nye was born in the 1800s in Rockhampton. The family moved to Brisbane and he graduated in Medicine from Sydney University in 1913. He joined the Australian Army but was turned over to the British Army. He spent three years as a hospital doctor in France where he was gassed and wounded.
When he came home, he specialized in medicine not surgery, which he had been doing in France. He was extremely sick from the gassing, so was sent to practice in Atherton because the doctors thought he would not live. However, he gave up smoking and lived to 84.
He made many trips to the Mayo Clinic in America and wrote several medical books. He was very keen on gardening and made lots of trips to places like Bali to see the plant life in those countries and it was on those trips that he brought home many Balinese artifacts.
Dr Nye was a firm believer that outdoor activity, especially gardening, was essential for a healthy mind and body. On his death, many of his treasures were bequeathed to the Queensland Council of Garden Clubs. Karana Downs Garden Club was lucky enough to be entrusted with one of his Balinese artifacts.
Marcelle grew up on a coconut plantation in Sri Lanka and lived in a house surrounded by tropical fruit trees, orchids, anthuriums and foliage plants. Her love for plants was fostered by her environment and by her parents. After moving to Australia, the passion continued, but became centered on Australian natives, which are known for their great diversity of form and structure. The eucalypts are her favorites.
Being interested in Science and having to select Math’s and Science subjects at an early stage in school, Marcelle had little opportunity to study Art. However, she did enjoy the pencil drawings she did in Botany classes. After her university studies Marcelle undertook research on pests and diseases of plants and it was not until 2006, while searching for a new hobby, that she stumbled on Botanical Art. Watercolor painting proved to be a challenge, but after many patient hours, Marcelle’s dream of being able to accurately draw and paint eucalypts took shape.
Marcelle regularly exhibits her paintings at the annual exhibition of the Botanical Artists’ Society of Queensland. She also has solo exhibitions of her eucalypt paintings as fund raisers for not for profit organizations and several of her paintings have been donated to raise money for charities.
In 2018, the President, Cecelia Jackson, introduced the ‘President’s Quiet Achiever Award’ in recognition of a member who quietly but efficiently contributed to the club with little fuss and whose efforts might go unrecognised. The inaugural recipient was Alethea Hubley.
In 2019, our dearly loved Life and founding Member, Sheila Warner, passed away and her family donated a sum of money to the club in her memory. The Management Committee decided to establish a perpetual trophy in Sheila’s memory to be awarded to the President’s choice of Quiet Achiever together with a small cash prize as part of the Annual Awards Programme.
Sheila loved being around people. She wanted to be involved and had a unique talent for bringing the best out in people. She could engage so easily and so fluently. She could work the room with ease! She was so suited to club life.
Sheila took on many roles in the club and was passionate in her involvement. She was President in 1995, 1997 and 2003. She held other positions such as the first Vice President, Competition Convenor, Secretary, Greeter, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer. Sheila was very aware of the ‘Quiet Achievers’ and their contribution to the success of the club.