Camellia Club of Mobile Newsletter


Volume XI Issue 4 - Editor: Vera Curry                                                           January 2015




Here we go again - it’s almost time for our 75th (!) Camellia Show.  Our Meeting on Sunday, January 11th, 2015, will be a very important one to ensure the success and smooth running of this land-mark Show.  We bet that the Mobile businessmen who started our Club back in 1940 didn’t realize that it would still be going strong three-quarters of a century later.  We need volunteers in all aspects of this Show, so do come along to this meeting to find out how you can help.  If you can only spare half-an-hour or an hour, or if you can give more time, particularly on Saturday morning, there will be something you can do to put on one of the best camellia shows in our area.  All assistance is really appreciated.    We now have elegant pins commemorating our 75th Show - only $5.00 - don’t miss out on yours!



 Our membership turned out in force for our annual Christmas Party and Auction.  we had over 60 people present , including Katina Conboy’s mom and Marcheta Houston’s daughter.  The food was great and our thanks go to David& Tammy Bracken who, along with assistance from Coralie Toomey, Margaret Lauder and KumKum Barik, did a super job of organizing it all - the Christmas green table cloths were a lovely touch that showed off to perfection the gorgeous camellia blooms that Jimmy Walker and Leo Brown brought.  Jimmy is smarter than the average bear - he wrote the name of each bloom on its leaf so everyone could identify the ones they really liked!  Our auctioneer par excellence, Jim Oates, did his usual hilarious job of getting members to part with their money for the various items donated.  He kept his elf, Katina, busy dashing about with the items on offer.  Jim made several hundred dollars to swell the Club’s coffers, our sincere thanks to all who bid on and purchased plants and items.  A special thanks to Bill and Cheryl Rawls who were very generous with their bids on special plants and the elegant Swarovski crystal ornament donated by Robert Moore and Larry Heard.  Our thanks to all who made the superb food!


Camellia Chat

Went to the Camellia Club of Pensacola Show before Christmas and it was, as usual, a lovely show, lots of exhibitors and very well-organized.  If you can only go to one Show (other than ours) I really recommend this one, it was the first Camellia Show I went to over twenty years ago and it is still has a top standard in location, blooms and organization.


Had to laugh at Jim Smelley at the Christmas Party, he (like most of our male Club members) is a great fan of Marcheta Houston’s coconut cake - he was faced with a severe dilemma when he got to the dessert table at the party and found two coconut cakes!  He solved it by having a piece of each cake - said they were both good!


Saw one of the prettiest camellias I’ve seen in a while at the Mississippi Show - it was ”Harriet Bisbee”,  a lovely very delicate blush pink formal double with incurved petals, dating from 1966.  It was exhibited by Col. Dick Hooton.


If you want to see some gorgeous photos of camellias, go to the Camellia Club of Pensacola website, find their Photos and then click on Randolph Maphis Photos.  There are a lot of lovely blooms and if you click on any picture the name and how it was taken pops up at the side.  I suspicion that several of these photos were taken at Jim Smelley’s

greenhouse, I think I recognize Jim’s hand and the background!  These pictures are a treat for the eyes.......................



The Officers & Board of the Camellia Club of Mobile Inc. have determined that any and all members of the Club who wish to submit projects, events, ideas, changes of plans that would involve the Club’s physical membership, its financial backing, the Club’s annual Camellia Show, and/or the use of the Club’s name, must first submit these projects, etc. to the Camellia Club Officers & Board for their approval. Should the Board decide that the projects, etc., would not be feasible or beneficial for the Club, the submitting member(s) will be advised that they do not have approval to present their project, etc., at the Club’s monthly meeting.  Should the Board’s non-approval be ignored the member(s) will be advised by the presiding Board Member that they are out-of-order.


The Officers & Board Members hope this ruling will streamline the monthly meetings, with less time wasted on ideas and projects that the Club, through its seventy-five years of experience, knows will not benefit the membership. Hopefully it will also mean that really great ideas can be welcomed, rapidly approved and put into force with the approval of members at our month meetings.