Welcome to the Nepean Bonsai Society Inc.
The inaugural meeting of the Nepean District Bonsai Society was held on Wednesday March 22nd 1972 at 7.30 pm at the Penrith Primary School. This meeting was as a result of a display in the old Penrith Plaza and an advertisement in the Penrith Press. The meeting elected a President – Mrs. Val Allen and a secretary/treasurer – Mrs. Dawn Sinclair. A committee was formed to include Mr. John Marsh, Mrs. Beryl Vine, Mrs. Monique Sinclair, Mr. Don Sinclair and Mr. Les Jones. The meeting also set the annual subscriptions as $3.00 single $5.00 family and $1.50 pensioner / student. Meetings were to take place on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm at the school. It is interesting in reading the minutes of the first meeting to note that the format for the meetings to follow were set down. They are almost identical to those practiced today, with general business, raffles (at 20c per ticket), cuppa and a demonstration.
The first actual meeting as a club (the above meeting was to set up to arrange the details of meetings) took place in April, our AGM. Vita and Dot Koreshoff were invited to the April meeting.
An article appeared in the Penrith Press prior to the April meeting informing the general public that “This hobby also gives scope for gardening skill and artistic expression, yet it requires no great physical effort or large outlay of money or time” Following on, the press release invites members of the public to attend and to be instructed in the art of bonsai by various Bonsai Masters.
At the foundation meeting in April Vita Koreshoff presented the club with the above sketch to use as a club Logo. Over the years this tree, just like all bonsai, has matured and changed. In 1986 it looked like a fig and in 1997 it changed again to become the tree we have today, as seen on our club badge.
In the early days John and Val in particular would stage Bonsai Exhibitions at various locations to publicise the art of bonsai and to recruit new members for the club. Membership grew and special lecturers and demonstrators came to instruct. Perhaps one of the most memorable guest demonstrators was Mr. Tom Yamamoto who whilst visiting Australia for a series of lectures was persuaded to demonstrate at Val’s home for members of the club.
Not only did the club grow it also moved from the Primary School to a Nursery in Punt Road, Emu Plains. After some time it returned to Penrith, taking up residence in the Penrith Teachers Centre. From January 1998, the meetings moved the Kingswood Park neighbourhood centre.
The club as a whole has also exhibited at many other venues such as – the annual Kurmond Public School Arts and Craft Fair, the Japanese Culture and Trade Exhibition, the Lewers Gallery, the opening of the new Civic Centre, the Hobby and Leisure Show to name some, but not all. Perhaps the greatest achievement in recent years was the hosting of the AABC National Seminar in 1992 our 20th Anniversary. This was one of the most successful national Seminars and certainly put Nepean Bonsai Society on the map.
I have only touched upon some of the achievements and highlights in the history of our club. The main thing that our club has going for it, is that the members support it and are active in keeping the club alive and active. As was inscribed on the Mark Foy tree ” While I live I grow”. Perhaps a good motto for a Bonsai Club.
From time to time, mention will be made of the A.A.B.C. and the B.C.I, Nepean Bonsai Society Inc. is a member of both these organisations, we also have ties with AusBonsai.
The A.A.B.C. (Australian Associated Bonsai Clubs) www.aabcltd.org is our national organisation that provides us with an annual seminar around the country and club access to a register of National Demonstrators who provide workshops, demonstrations etc.
The next convention is to be held in Brisbane, Queensland, to find out more follow this link. https://aabc2017.bonsaisocietyqld.asn.au/
The B.C.I. (Bonsai Clubs International) www.bonsai-bci.com is an International organisation based in the United States. Yearly conventions, bi-monthly magazines and contact with different organisations around the world, keep us up to date with developments in the bonsai world.
AusBonsai is a free, Australian based internet forum where you can view, study and chat about bonsai from the comfort of your own computer. www.ausbonsai.com.au