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New Beginnings for Ikebana Wellington

Ikebana International Wellington Chapter #158 is no longer in existence. Our President, Sandi Hurnard wrote to I.I. Headquarters in Tokyo informing them of the results of our AGM (see letter below).

We are now an enthusiastic ikebana group who will continue learning and sharing our love of Japanese flower arranging through working with our ikebana friends from the Wellington Sogetsu School.

A small committee has been set up to facilitate the closure of our Chapter. In the middle of September the first of the Chapter investments falls due so this can be made available to Sogetsu Teachers Wellington. It will be requested that these funds be assigned to the following activities: exhibitions, public demonstrations, visiting tutor visits, the website maintenance and hosting expenses and subsidising teacher training.

We want to make charitable donations in the future as well. We will keep our I.I. members informed as decisions are made.

Sogetsu is now the only active ikebana school in Wellington. Their members are happy to include ex-I.I. members in invitations to workshops with visiting tutors and where possible include their participation in Exhibitions.

Most importantly the website will continue for all ikebana activities and funds will be allocated so it will continue into the future.

16 June 2017

Attn: Board of Directors and Management , Ikebana International Headquarters, Tokyo.

For some years now, our Chapter has encountered a general reluctance for members to commit to standing for office on our Committee. This is in part because of our membership both aging and diminishing in number but also the realisation that the duties for a successful Chapter take a considerable time and effort. An added complication has been that there is only one active school of Ikebana in Wellington, New Zealand so the burden has fallen disproportionately on a handful of devoted members.

I regret to have to inform you that the results of our Election held 1 June 2017 were not favourable and no-one put their names forward to fulfil the roles of President, Secretary or Treasurer. Our Chapter Members were furnished with a “Discussion Paper” about the future of Chapter #158 early in May and this was the focus of our recent AGM following the regular presentation of reports and the Election process.

Members who were unable to attend the AGM were encouraged to submit proxy votes on the options put forward in the Discussion paper and most did. It had been anticipated that we would be unable to elect a working committee so we then had to explore the possibility of continuing as a Chapter with a much reduced capacity and functionality and a very small committee. However after considerable deliberation this option was rejected as impracticable and the membership [including proxy votes] voted to close the Chapter. This decision was not taken lightly, given we were the sole remaining Chapter in New Zealand.

I have informed our members how to register as “regular” members of Ikebana International. A couple of members have decided to join Australian Chapters but a number have decided to become regular members [including myself]. You will be receiving individual enrolment payments from a number of our past members.

Sogetsu is the only active school in Wellington, and are happy to include our members in invitations to workshops with visiting tutors and where possible including their participation in Exhibitions.

Most importantly the website http://www.ikebanawellington.org.nz will continue for all ikebana activities and funds will be allocated so it will continue into the future.

The Japanese Embassy in Wellington has also been informed of our decision. We have set up a small group of able members to manage the completion of the closure of the Chapter. Any help and advice you can offer concerning this difficult process will be appreciated.

I am sure that ‘Friendship through Flowers’ will continue in the coming years.

Goodbye for now.

Sandi Hurnard