About ANZ Sogetsu Teachers Association Inc.

History of the South Australian Branch

Rene Nicholson, Marjorie Bromilow, Yvonne Correll, et al. photo
Rene Nicholson, Marjorie Bromilow, Yvonne Correll, et al. at the Cross property
Prior to 1978 each Branch was managed by Mr. Norman Sparnon OAM. After that each was made autonomous. The earliest introduction of Ikebana to South Australia was a demonstration by Norman Sparnon at the invitation of the SA Floral Art Judges School. Interest was such that in 1963 there were sufficient people for Norman to commence teaching in SA. At that time it was necessary to apply to Norman to attend his classes. Norman would travel to SA every 4 months to teach over a period of 4 days. These lessons were studied from a primer by Sofu Teshigahara – Basic styles and Variations that we study today.

By 1977, there were sufficient Ikebana students in SA who had achieved Teachers Certificates for Norman to implement the first SA Branch of ASTA.
The meeting held 1st. November 1977 with 16 present and 3 absent marks the commencement of our SA Branch.
The most senior teacher at that time, namely Gwen Green was elected by Norman to be the first President/Director. Betty Goodall was nominated as Deputy President/Director and Rene Nicholson as Secretary/Treasurer.

Adelaide became Australian Sogetsu Teachers Association (S.A.Branch) which later was incorporated. It managed all aspects of running such a branch, finance, planning of workshops, exhibitions and demonstrations. Fund raisers have been held over the years. Workshops, using various venues until now, are held on Saturday to include all members at the Banksia Park International High School – an excellent facility. Members have a set programme of two arrangements – 1 Basic and 1 Creative – with a member giving a demonstration.

In August 1996 A Thanksgiving Service for the life of Norman Sparnon was held at St. Jude’s Church, Brighton. A large flower arrangement was prepared by Marjorie Bromilow and Rene Nicholson with each member adding an individual flower. Masters Demonstrations , Exhibitions and Workshops have been given by: Mr. Norman Sparnon – Mr. Suzuki – Mr. Ohki and Mr. Yoshiro Umemura.

Farm Machinery welded together - group project - image
Farm Machinery welded together at the Cross property in Kadina, SA. Rene Nicholson, Marjorie Bromilow, Yvonne Correll, et al.

“In 2002, we were invited to a nearby farm, and there, we made a small sculptural work from the discarded materials that we found in the rubbish heap. The farm proprietor saw the work, and was so pleased that she commissioned us to make a large sculptural work for her front yard. Thus began our major project [Farm Machinery].
Naturally, putting the design together was not easy. We engaged in numerous discussions, exchanged opinions and battled with the materials. After countless hours, the work was finally completed. How wonderful it was to be able to express our uninhibited sensitivities! It was also a joy to be given the opportunity to experience this wonderful creative process that used these exciting and powerful materials. This work can be seen from the roadside, and has drawn the attention of many passersby.”

Group Exhibitions have been held at:

  • David Jones – until 2000
  • Jam Factory using Artist’s made Containers
  • Tokyo City Cup 1995-1997 and 2000
  • Bonsai Society
  • St. Peter’s Cathedral
  • Hilton Hotel with Grand Prix theme.
  • Horticultural Society – Autumn Flower Show
  • Royal Adelaide and Horticultural Show
  • Japan Australia Friendship Association
  • Austrade Gala Dinner at Hilton Hotel – 2 large stage and 25 table arrangements using Australian Native Flowers
  • Lillium Society
  • Iris Society
  • Australian Plant Society
  • Flinders University
  • OzAsia Festival – Arrangements and Yosh Umemura Demonstrating.

Members involvement:

  • Yvonne Correll was involved with the Yorke Peninsula Creative Arts Group displaying Ikebana at Outer Harbour to welcome passengers arriving on Overseas Liners. Also prepared bi-annual exhibitions for the Kernewek Lowender (Cornish Festival) held in autumn.
  • Marjorie Bromilow, Mary Jessup, Judy Crichton, Chris Steers, Rene Nicholson and Yvonne Correll have all prepared Ikebana in their respective Churches
  • Betty Goodall has demonstrated and displayed Ikebana for Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs.
  • Mary Jessup and Judy Crichton have arranged Ikebana at Adelaide High School Old Scholars functions.

Office Bearers 1978 – 2008
Directors: Gwen Green – Marjorie Bromilow – Yvonne Correll
Deputy Directors: Betty Goodall – Rene Nicholson – Maureen Arnott
Secretary/Treasurers: Rene Nicholson – Betty Goodall – Ray Bywaters

Compiled by Betty Goodall, January 2009