Bronte Horticulturalists Formed Society in 1925
OAKVILLE - The Bronte Horticultural Society was originally started in 1925 but apparently became inactive after a year. A continuous record has been preserved since 1940 with Clayton Rayburn as first president assisted by Dick Gunnell. Mr. Gunnell was known as "Dick, the Amateur Gardener" in his radio broadcasts from Hamilton.
About fifty per cent of the Society's membership was from Oakville. In 1957 Oakville formed its own Society with a consequent decline in membership for the Bronte Society. Although crippled it continued to operate and membership started to grow in 1960. In the past three years there has been a twenty per cent increase and the membership now stands in the neighborhood of 85.
The Society originally met at the Church of the Epiphany, then at Walton Memorial United church for a short time; its home is now in the Hopedale Presbyterian Church parlor, where meetings are held the first Monday of each month.
Flowering crab trees were planted by the Society at the Bronte Athletic field and the Rotary Apartments. In 1962 a pair of these trees were planted in Coronation Park in honor of Otto and Maria Jelinek.
The Society Trophies have been carried down from three past presidents. Mr. Canfield was president in 1944 and the Canfield shield is given at the annual flower show for the highest total of points in all classes.
Mrs. Scott was president in 1952. The Scott trophy is given at the annual flower show for the highest points in the arrangement section.
Mrs. A.J. MacDonald was president in 1949. The MacDonald trophy is given once a year for the total points garnered in all monthly competitions. It will be presented at the annual banquet on January 20th to the 1965 winner. The banquet is being held in Walton Memorial United Church.
Those receiving the Ontario Horticultural Association service diploma have to be members for at least ten years and must have contributed actively to their local Societies. Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Tipping of the Bronte Society were so honored prior to moving from the area in 1962.
Last year Mrs. Tipping's mother, Mrs. A.O. Flumerfelt, was presented with a service diploma. She has been a member for the last twenty-five years.
Executive members of the Society for 1966, are Mrs. L.O. Woolford, president; Mrs. R.E. Measures, vice president; William E. Card, second vice president; Mrs. J.S. Buchanan, secretary; and Hugh Brown, treasurer.