Irene Fowle's Inaugural Presidential Speech
Thank you everyone. It is an honor and a privilege to be the President
of the Boothbay REgion Garden Club. Did you know our club was
organized in 1931, ( I learned that from our new website, thank you
Melissa). It was one of the first of eight clubs in Maine. That’s 92
years ago. That is a lot of history, a lot of organizing, and a lot of fun
together. Honestly, being your next president is an honor but it is also
a bit overwhelming and scary. I am following the footsteps of some
pretty amazing women who have made this club the dynamic and
relevant organization it is. (Will all the past presidents please stand up).
Like I said I am honored and scared to be the President of this
amazing organization. The job takes a lot of time, responsibility,
organization and patience. But, as you just saw, I have some great
mentors and hopefully all your support and enthusiasm too.
I was surprised last year when Gloria told me I had to get the
Yearbook ready by early winter. But, to get the Yearbook to print, first
I had to have a programming schedule. I thought I had another year
to “learn”. But, lucky me, a wonderful group of members stepped up
to be on the Program Committee. We met several times, shared
ideas, contacted potential speakers and ate gluten free blueberry
muffins with coffee. Thank you Program Committee members, Gloria
Wakefield, Susan Stapleton, Cathy Fisher, Judy Millinoski, Melissa
Thornton, Abby Shaw and Irene Gerny. Hopefully you will enjoy this
year's programming as much as we had figuring it out. A special
thank you to the “Real” Irene, Irene Gerny. She knew the most about
our 93 year history, was a previous President, a master gardener, a
real asset to the committee. Thank you Irene for your guidance and
work, for your ideas, but also for your kindness and patience.
Then, on to the Yearbook. I want to thank Kevin Bowler, Linda Bonin,
Abby Shaw, Sandy Abernathy and Gloria Wakefield for their help with
the Yearbook. We met at Kevin’s house over some kind of yummy
cookie and coffee ( Kevin made the cookies, you know they were
yummy).. A special thank you to Kevin for the Yearbook, and your
patience with me. If you ever want something done just ask Kevin.
Lucky us, she is following me as President.
I grew up as an apartment dwelling city kid, and didn't know any
gardeners or anything about gardening. In my late teens I moved to
the country and found vegetable gardening. Oh, I just loved it. Fresh
tomatoes right off the vine. The sweetness of corn fresh picked that
hour. The crunch and snap of the early spring pea pods. It was
heavenly. In 1979 my husband and I moved to Boothbay and rented a
little cabin off Rte 27 from Dot Brown for $450.00 for the summer
season. Dot was an avid perennial flower gardener. Her property
was a miracle of plants with beautiful color, shapes and smells. A
feast for the spirit and soul. Dot taught me all about perennial flower
gardening that summer and for many following years.. She gave me
many divisions and all the weeds that went with them .( Anyone want
some Bishop Weed. It’s flowering right now) She shared the beautiful
and the challenging parts of gardening with me, while having fun
together. Dot was one of my first gardening mentors. I was so
fortunate to meet her.
But, I have been lucky to find many mentors
among you. One is Gloria Wakefield. Thank you Gloria, for your
leadership and kindness. I have learned so much from you.
Some of us love to garden, some not so much. But, gardening
together is the perfect metaphor for you, this amazing Garden Club.
We work together, learn from each other, have fun, make lasting
friendships all while nurturing flower boxes, sharing tea, decorating
wreaths, sitting together listening to a speaker, organizing events like
the Home and Garden Tour. Supporting young people through our
Scholarship Program. (Della Hahn and Grace Campbell our current
students will be at the July meeting). (thank you Jane Lunt) We’re
going to continue these traditions and maybe start some new ones,
like the Boathouse Barbeque this Friday to support the Home and
Garden Tour. (Thank you for taking this on, Ida, Anne Marie and
Julie. Talk about big projects. Tickets for the H&GT are available right
here today) We get a lot done and have 93 years of making a
difference. I think my most important role as President is to stay out of
your way and say Thank You. Thank you, each and everyone of you
The Business of the General and Annual Meeting of the Boothbay
Region Garden Club is now adjourned.