The Association of Irish Floral Artists (AOIFA), which was founded in 1973, is the official organisation of affiliated Floral Art Groups and Flower and Garden Clubs in Ireland.
A meeting of the AOIFA Executive was held via Zoom on 18th June with a view to regulate for the Association, in these unprecedented and unpredictable times. It was unanimously decided that, due to Covid - 19, AOIFA gatherings should cease until the AGM in March 2021, when the new Executive will take over. It is envisaged that such activities will return to normal in 2021.
This decision was made in order to secure the health and safety of our members and to bring some degree of clarity to the current uncertainty. In the interim, the current Executive will remain in place and manage the Association’s affairs with the help of the incoming Executive.
As each club is autonomous, it may make its own decisions regarding its activities and is advised to do so based on HSE and Government Guidelines. Please refer to https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself-and-others.html as how to protect yourself and others.
A revised schedule of events will be issued in the autumn.
Letter from Chairperson
These are indeed strange times. Here in Cobh we have been enjoying the beautiful sunshine but something feels amiss when I look out the window to a harbour without the liners coming and going. I know that every town and village has its own story to tell. I am sure that wherever you are you too are experiencing differences in these surreal times.
Despite everything life goes on. I realise now what a privilege it is to have a garden, yard or balcony. I’ll never complain again about my garden being too big. It’s been my saviour during the lockdown. Listening to the radio lately a new word “yardening” was introduced to my lexicon – such a descriptive word to describe maintenance/gardening activities in a yard!
Where would we be without technology at this time? Some of our demonstrators have taken on the challenge of doing mini demonstrations on Facebook. It is a great way of keeping up the interest and skills. Another great opportunity, not to miss, is the Virtual Cork Summer Show. Zoom is great for meetings and keeping in touch - my 50thcollege reunion took place via Zoom recently.
Regrettably the Executive has had to postpone all AOIFA gatherings until March 2021. It is hoped to keep in touch with members by providing short virtual demonstrations and features by our members. I have done some designs, using garden and wild plant material, which are on the website – they might inspire you to have a go. Perhaps, you might like to share a picture or video of some interesting flora or fauna that you come across. Please keep an eye on the AOIFA website for updates and reports.
Your much appreciated fund raising money was donated to Pieta House recently. It was very welcome in these difficult times. I acknowledge the hard work that all clubs put in to raising this much needed money for our charity.
You will be hearing from Siobhán McInerney, Charleville Flower and Garden Club, in September re placing orders for “The Flower Arranger” magazine. Siobhán has very kindly taken over from Nancy McKeever, Life Vice-President, who has been doing it so diligently for the past thirty four years. Many thanks Nancy!
Let us try to slow the pace of our busy lifestyles and turn this time of restrictions into something positive and take heed from William Henry Davies, a Welsh poet, who in 1911, warned that the hectic pace of modern life has a detrimental effect on the human spirit - sentiments so apt for the present times!
Let’s make the most of the current situation, slow down and take “time to stand and stare.”
Leisure – William Henry Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Congratulations to Rosemary Smyth who was awarded Silver at Canada Blooms 2020
Canada Blooms had to close early due to Covid-19. The competitors had just enough time to stage their exhibits and have them judged before they had to take it down again.
AOIFA Council Meeting 7 November 2019
The AOIFA Council meeting took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Cork on Thursday 7th November 2019 followed by a demonstration by Carola Kean of NAFAS. Photos here