Site of original Red Gap
Original Red Gap
When the Library first opened in 1975 after two years of intense work and help from grants, in particular the New Horizons Project of $11,500, it was in a rented log cabin which was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. Edmonds, with a gift of 1,000 books.
Various classes were held in handicrafts, art, fitness, discussions, country dancing, a monthly dinner club and so on. I don't know the exact date but at one time a ten-week course on Gardening was held and proved very successful. So much interest was raised that those attending decided to form a club which would meet on a monthly basis.
The club met on the first Friday of the month from 1:30 to 3:30pm. The members insisted that it should be very informal and just cover discussions on successes or failures in members' gardens, though soon guest speakers were invited and trips to visit members' gardens became a very popular feature.
The name of the club was Nanoose Amateur Gardeners Ideas Exchange and it was called NAGIE for over 20 years. There was no annual subscription but membership was restricted to members of the Library. Since that subscription was only $1 per year, it did not prove a hardship. In exchange for rent-free accommodation, NAGIE gave the Library half the profit of the annual plant sale and looked after the garden although the heavy work was done by the men volunteers. This donation rarely covered what would be charged for rent!
In 1984 NAGIE bought a mike and equipment which was to be lent to the Library for fund-raising events. In 1986 the club consisted of 36 members who held pot luck suppers and a BBQ on Rathtrevor Beach.
In 2000 the membership had risen to 77 and members still only paid $1 to join the Library and therefore the Club. In 2001, membership was no longer restricted to members of the Library but the Club had to pay rent for the Hall though it did not have to divide the profit of the plant sale. Subsequently the membership fee was raised to $10.
Presidents of the Club mostly served for two consecutive years, though Lillian Freeland served for three years and Shelagh-Anne Hedges served for one year in 2000 and another year in 2009. The longest serving President was Alice Judd, who in one position or another served on the Library Board for 26 years, and was NAGIE President for many of those years.
Most of this information was gleaned from the records of the Friends of the Nanoose Library Centre as the Garden Club did not boast a Secretary until 2009. Up until Jackie Hall became President, the Club was run by the President, the Vice-President and the Treasurer. However Jackie divided the administration between several members of the Club and the Board was born.
The Nanoose Garden Club continues to grow from strength to strength with welcome additions of younger members each year.