The Bacchus Marsh Flower & Garden Show
At the end of October in 2014 the first Horticulture Show was launched in the Public Hall.
It was a one-day event conceived by Joce Williams, helped by a handful of her friends. Joce had mourned the loss of the Bacchus Marsh Agriculture Show and wanted a replacement for it, which was dear to her heart. She also wanted to promote local business and the products of our unique fertile valley, which had always been her home.
But there was also another objective. The Show was to be a shop front and fundraiser for the Bacchus Marsh Aquatic Centre Consortium. Dr David Stewart was the co-Chair with former Mayor, Pat Griffin. The Consortium had been set up to advocate for an indoor swimming facility. Joce saw a very great need for a sports complex, which could be used for twelve months of the year, a facility that would provide education, exercise, recreation and therapy for every age group.
When Joce became ill in 2015, a wider group of her friends decided the Show must go on. They pulled together the Show for that year, expanded it to be a two-day event, have continued to run it ever since.
The Show’s success, as a regular Bacchus Marsh event, is growing. Every year the hall has been a riot of colour, showcasing locally grown flowers, plants and produce. In 2018, it expanded to hold very successful cake decorating and photography competitions.
The renamed Bacchus Marsh Flower & Garden Show is now an outlet for local business, community groups, craft groups and artists. It is a testament to Joce who always brought great skill, inspiration, energy and enthusiasm to everything she did.
Among the many willing and talented volunteers who organise and run the Show, there has always had a significant involvement by members of the Rotary Club of Bacchus Marsh (Joce was a Past President). Another Rotarian and good friend to Joce, Jock Taylor took over as Chair of the Show in 2015. Karen Mather, another good friend of Joce’s, assumed the Chair in 2017 but COVID meant that we could not hold the Show in 2020.
In 2019, under Karen’s leadership, the Flower & Garden Show was awarded the ‘Moorabool Shire Event of the Year’, which was a wonderful thing and something of which we can all feel proud.
2021, Kathy Cairns, another Rotarian, took over the Chair, and after a good deal of consultation it was decided to place the Flower & Garden Show under the umbrella of the Rotary Club of Bacchus Marsh, replacing the Consortium. This replacement was due to the Consortium no longer being active, as the Moorabool Shire took over the management of the Aquatic Centre project, incorporating it into a larger Sporting Precinct in Taverner Street with basketball courts and lawn bowls club. The need for the Show to raise money specifically for the Aquatic Centre thus no longer existed. This also immediately solved the issues of insurance, incorporation and ongoing assistance. Even though it is under the Rotary umbrella, the Committee retains its wide-ranging membership of people from the area, with all their expertise, enthusiasm and hard work.
This committee is supported by many volunteers who are working to promote and showcase the many and varied Horticultural activities of the area, as well as raising funds for local projects.
All funds raised are put into an account held by Rotary with the Bacchus Marsh Community Bank (Bendigo Bank Branch). The Committee will be responsible for deciding how to allocate the profits from the Show.
The Organising Committee for the 2023 Show
Chair Kathy Cairns
Secretary Noelene Watson
Treasurer Keith Currie
Committee Anne Cadzow
Jean la Franchi