The 14th Australia and New Zealand Conference 17-22 April 1983

The 14th Australia and New Zealand Conference 17-22 April 1983

Although every member of the Chapter contributed to the success of this most important event in its history, the credit for the overall planning, the meticulous organisation and detailed preparation must go to the Conference Chairman, Ruth Scott, who worked so long with tireless dedication.

The Conference was attended by over 250 registrants from regional and other Chapters and included the international President, Rosamond Naegle, with her husband.

H.E. the Hon. James J. Webster, High Commissioner for Australia, officially opened the conference at the Welcome Cocktail Party held at the James Cook Hotel, the Conference venue.

The Exhibition, held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, was opened by the then Mayor of Wellington, Sir Michael Fowler. A second exhibition of work by Chapter members was staged at James Smith’s department store and continued for the duration of the Conference.

Guest demonstrators were Isshin Mori, Headmaster of the Enshu School, and his wife, Saigetsu Yamamoto, Headmistress of the Kofu School, who gave two fascinating joint demonstrations.

The venue for the Sayonara Dinner was the Overseas Passenger Terminal and the guest speaker for that occasion was H.E. Mr Teruji Akiyama, Ambassador of Japan.

As an extra function, all attending the Conference were entertained by a cocktail party held by H.E. the High Commissioner for Australia and Mrs Webster.

A bonus for registrants was an opportunity to see T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales whose visit to Wellington coincided with the Conference dates.

In May 1984 Patricia McCay became President of the Chapter. She had spent some of her years in Tokyo where her husband was posted as representative of the Bank of New Zealand. She studied Sogetsu Ikebana while there and has a teacher’s diploma.

The outstanding event of her first year as President was a Kimono Fashion Parade presented by Co-Patroness Mrs Natsuko Akiyama, wife of the Ambassador of Japan.

Members were greatly saddened by the death in December 1984 of Dame Norma Holyoake, a Patroness of the Chapter since its foundation in 1970.

Several Chapter members attended the 15th Australia and New Zealand Conference held at Surfers’ Paradise in 1985.

The Chapter exhibition for that year was held in conjunction with the International Orchid Conference and presented a marvellous opportunity to introduce Ikebana to the thousands of people who visited the Orchid Show.

At the Annual General Meeting in May 1986 the President announced that Ruth Scott, Founding President and Advisor to the Chapter, had accepted a position of Co-patroness. She has, however, maintained her status as a full member of the Chapter.

Pamela Miller, wife of a former New Zealand Ambassador to Japan and very knowledgeable about Japanese Culture, was President from 1986 to 1988. Pamela holds a teacher’s diploma of the Sogetsu School and certificates in the Ikenobo School.

The most important I.I. event in 1986 was the 5th World Convention held in Kyoto. Ruth Scott and several other Chapter members attended.

Two exhibitions were mounted during the first year of Pamela’s presidency, one in June 1986 as part of Japan Week, and in early 1987 the annual exhibition at the Japan Information and Cultural Centre was held.

The following year again saw many flower related activities in addition to regular monthly meetings, notably arrangements and displays for the Mitsubishi/Todd Motors Promotion and Dealers Conference and the Kirk/Mitsubishi Motors Promotion for Japan Week.

One of the most interesting and enjoyable meetings was in July 1987 when Mrs Kazuko Omori, wife of the Ambassador of Japan, invited members to morning coffee, after which she gave a well researched talk on the collection of art and artefacts in the Residence. Mrs Omori’s special interest is painting and members gained a real insight into the history of Japanese Painting through the centuries.

Another highlight of 1987 was a demonstration in October by Mrs Noriko Ohno, President of Kokusai Ikebana, held at the James Cook Hotel.

Early 1988 saw two memorable demonstrations; one in April by Hilde Woodman (Ohara), visiting expert from the London Chapter in Wellington en route to the 16th Australia and New Zealand Conference in Sydney, and the other in May by Vivienne Pascoe, well known Sogetsu teacher from Tauranga.

Pamela, as delegate, and a record number of Chapter members attended the 16th Regional Conference in Sydney.

At the 1988 Annual General Meeting Marguerite Weyman was elected President. Marguerite was foundation secretary and with the exception of three years has served on the Board ever since the capacities of Secretary/Treasurer, Secretary, 2nd Vice President, Historian and Conference Secretary. For a number of reasons she will serve one year.

At an interesting programme on the Kimono presented by Japanese members in July, 1988, the Chapter regretfully said goodbye to Mrs Kazuko Omori, Patroness, who would soon be returning to Japan on the completion of her husband’s term of office as Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand.

At the Annual Exhibition, held in September 1988 at the Japan Information and Cultural Centre, Marguerite Weyman had the pleasure of welcoming the newly appointed Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Mr Hirohiko Otsuka, and Mrs Otsuka. His Excellency officially opened the exhibition of the Chapter and also on that occasion Mrs Tomoko Otsuka accepted the position of Patroness of the Chapter.

For the first time in the Chapter’s history the 1988 End-of-Year Luncheon was held at a Japanese Restaurant where members enjoyed a traditional Japanese meal sitting Japanese style on tatami.