Merry Christmas everyone!

Photos: Sandra Simpson

Tauranga Orchid Society’s potluck Christmas lunch today was a time of good cheer, good company and good food – including the fun of a Secret Santa.

Jocelyn Mankelow and Conrad Coenen.

Winsome and John Edwards made a colourful couple.

Emma Searle had juggled her work day to attend, pictured here with Ute Rank, who was on a day off.

Doris Shea (left) and Audrey Hewson.

We’d chosen the Gallery at Te Puna Quarry Park for our do and loved the ease of set up and pack up with tables, chairs, plates, glasses and cutlery all available on site, plus a nicely fitted-out kitchen with a good-size fridge. The society provided sausages and drinks, while members brought along either a savoury or sweet plate for lunch and a Secret Santa gift (value up to $5) – 33 members attended and we filled the space nicely.

What a spread we had! Thanks to president Barry Curtis on the barbecue, plus the clean-up crew in the kitchen afterwards, ably lead by Jocelyn Mankelow.

Barry Curtis adds his secret ingredient to the sausages, supervised by Bob Mankelow. Photo: Sandra Simpson

First course …

… followed by a groaning dessert table!

As is tradition, Alec Roy had come up with a couple of fun gifts – a stuffed monkey each for Barry and vice-president Conrad Coenen, while committee member Sandra Simpson received a small watering can shaped like an elephant! (Are there subtle messages attached, we wonder?)

Barry and his monkey mascot.

After briefly recapping the society’s events for the year and encouraging members to prepare for the February auction, Barry sent the gathering’s best wishes to society secretary Natalie Simmonds, given to Brian on her behalf. Our thoughts are with all our members facing illness and hard times and we wish everyone the best for the festive period.

Merry Christmas
& a Happy New Year!

Ute Rank and Lawrie Dawbin.

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