About ANZ Sogetsu Teachers Association Inc.

History of the Christchurch Branch

In October 1980, with the encouragement of Noriko Matsudaira and Alice de Forges, our national director, the Christchurch Branch of the Sogetsu Teachers’ Association was formed with an initial membership of 14. Natalie Warriner (now Morgan) was elected as the first president.

To get the new association established we held cake stalls to raise money; also exhibitions and demonstrations. By 1982 we had enough put together to enable us to invite Noriko Matsudaira and Alice de Forges to travel to Christchurch to give workshops.

In 1984 Phyllis Williams became the president of the Sogetsu Teachers’ Association. We had a number of workshops in her lovely garden at Ashburton. During the time of her presidency Norman Sparnon came over from Sydney to conduct workshops. His workshops always drew a good number of participants.

In 1987 Ruvae Britten was elected as our president. During her three-year term the Christchurch Branch of Sogetsu Teachers’ Association fund-raised for the Australia-New Zealand Conference hosted by Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202 held in February, 1990. This conference was very successful with over 200 people attending from many parts of Australasia.

Since the 1990s our association has been fortunate to have had a succession of Directors who have been both knowledgeable and enthusiastic: namely, Bea Manning (1990-1992); Kay Thomson (1992-1994, 2001-2002); Ellen Loader (1998-1999, 2000-2001); Lyn Leslie (1995-97, 2005-09). Nor can we overlook the combined work of the teachers in our region.

The Christchurch Association has continued a programme of workshops and demonstrations to bring new ideas to its membership. Sogetsu masters from New Zealand and overseas who have been invited to Christchurch include: Seiseki Umemura (Yoshi) in 1992, 1996 and 2002; Eiko Sumera in 1993; Tetsunori Kawana in 1995, 1998, 2002 and Takako Martin in 2007 and again in 2008 when she introduced the new curriculum to local members. This was greatly appreciated.

Workshop with Takako Martin