Town to host National Show

Camellias lined up on display at last year’s show. This year Narrandera will play host to the National Camellia Show on August 25 and 26.

The upcoming 44th annual Narrandera Camellia Show this month will host the 2017 National Camellia Show.

“This time it’s the national show by Camellias Australia, of which the Narrandera Garden Club is an affiliate,” said Lyn Gleeson, who is part of a team organising the show this year.

“It means that we’ll be having two judges from New Zealand and one from Canberra. We’ll also have exhibitors coming from Sydney.”

The awards presentation will be opened on the second day, Saturday August 26, by Professor Dame Marie Bashir, a former Narrandera resident after whom the town park is named.

The show will run the two events simultaneously, with local competition entries displayed alongside national ones.

“We hope this might bring some of the locals out,” Mrs Gleeson said.

There are over 100 categories to enter in the show, covering different varieties of camellias and seven different classes of flower. They go by names like Gay Baby, Drama Girl, the Czar, Night Rider and Royal Velvet.

“We usually have about 50 people who turn up to enter, and that’s got to be done by 11.30am on the Friday. It’s held in the auditorium of the Ex-servicemen’s Club. The doors open at 2pm on Friday afternoon and the awards are presented at 3pm on Saturday.

“We’re also having a presentation dinner on the Friday night.”

It is Mrs Gleeson’s first time helping to organise the show.

Her brother, Barry Di Salvia, organised it for many years but died suddenly on August 7 last year just before the annual Camellia Show and it has been a difficult
time for the family and show organisers.

“We’ve picked it up and we’re amazed that one person could do it all, especially considering Barry gave his time to so many other organisations as well.”

Overall, what will be celebrated over the weekend will be a genuine love of camellia blooms.

“There’s so many different types of camellias. They range from the whites to the reds and then the pinks. There are even some yellow varieties that will be there. Camellias don’t really have a scent, but there’ll be a few scented ones.”

In fact, there will be a prize given to the camellia bloom with the best scent.

Despite having a drier year than last, Mrs Gleeson said she was hoping it proved a good season for the camellias.

“We don’t want them to come out for another two weeks. They find the water pretty challenging here – people wonder why we have so many fatalities!

“We lose a lot, but that just gives us room to buy more,” she quipped.

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