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Flower Festival celebrates 100 years of Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Flower Festival celebrated 100 years of the Rotary Foundation

ST Michael and All Angels’ Church in Melksham was full of colour and sweet smells of spring for a special Flower Festival to celebrate 100 years of The Rotary Foundation earlier this month.

Over 50 flower arrangements designed by Christine Oughton and Rosalyn Clarke and created by 20 volunteers from the Melksham and District Flower Arrangement Society, were displayed around the church, with the flowers paid for by Melksham Rotary Club.

Melksham Rotary Club secretary, Sarah Hiscocks said, “The festival went very well and we had over 300 attend across the three days and 95 people came to The Chippenham Male Voice Choir in the evening.

“Melksham Rotary were happy to pay for all the flowers that the Melksham and District Flower Arrangement Society used out of club funds (not ArtHouse funds) that had been generated over a number of years. All the donated money can now be given to the eradication of polio and with matched funding from the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, this amount will be doubled.

“Lots of flower arrangers from other clubs visited and complimented on the spectacle and said how they had picked up some ideas, members of the public were also impressed.

“The Chippenham Male Voice Choir concert was very impressive, with the acoustics in the church producing some lovely sounds, some of the members of the choir commented that they had sounded the best that they had sounded in a long time.

“St Michael’s church members provided teas and cakes over the three days for those who attended, and Melksham Rotary would like to give them thanks for their support and hospitality to put on the event, particularly Peter Maslen and Alistair Banks, who really did go the extra mile to ensure the success of the event.”

Rosalyn Clarke from Melksham and District Flower Arrangement Society said, “We were delighted with the response from the festival. Our arrangers put their heart and souls into their creations depicting the work that the Rotary do within the community and overseas. The public responded with some lovely comments and greatly appreciated the hard work that had gone into event.

“We had a good attendance on each day over the weekend and Chippenham Male Voice Choir gave a super concert to a large audience on the Saturday evening. The Melksham Rotary Foundation chairman Sarah Hiscocks is  delighted with the event which marked 100 years of their organisation, and have managed to offset some of the costs  by donations and ticket sales.”

Melksham Flower Club chairman Caroline Christopher  thanks all the members who took part and the designers, Christine Ought-on and Rosalyn Clarke, who spent many hours preparing for the festival.”

The flowers were given to a number of organisations and charities in the town. Three arrangements went to Dorothy House Hospice, one arrangement went to Wiltshire Sight, one to Terri Welch who helped organise planting of crocus corms last winter, five to Mavern Care Home, five to Blenheim House, five to Brookside, two to the teachers’ staff room at Melksham Oak and two to the staff at Julia House Hospice.

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