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Garden clubs gather to celebrate 49th anniversary of Camellia Day

Sissy Brodie topped off the 49th annual Camellia Day last week.

The woman of the year in Aiken, S.C. brought her program - "Hat-titude" - to the event, to promote the lost art of wearing hats and dressing up for every day occasions, such as grocery shopping.

"Not all women feel comfortable in hats; but, there is a hat for every woman, if you have the right attitude for that hat," Mrs. Brodie said.

Approximately 78 members from Garden Study Club, Merry Tillers, Pine Needle, Washington-Wilkes, Washington Iris Club, Harlem Pioneer, Warrenton and Sharon Garden Clubs attended the event on Wednesday, March 1, at Belle Meade Country Club.

The aroma of fresh camellias filled the room to compliment the large arrangement exclusively of camellias on a pedestal, the circle of camellias surrounding the punch bowl, and camellias tucked decoratively in the ladies' hats.

"This has been a cooperative effort of all the clubs, as you can tell from all the beautiful arrangements," said Ruth Knox, the president of the McDuffie County Garden Council.

Many in the audience wore hats to compliment Mrs. Brodie's program.

Using hats she brought from her personal collection, Mrs. Brodie enthusiastically demonstrated how to embellish plain hats, how to keep them from falling off, and how to travel without crushing them. She proved that hats "give help, make dressing-up easy to do."

"We all get in a rut. I'm just sharing the fun and frivolous things that I've learned through the years," Mrs. Brodie said.

Along with her presentation, Mrs. Brodie encouraged the ladies to mentor young mothers and young ladies, to teach them proper etiquette.

During lunch, Mrs. Brodie judged the hats worn by garden club members. Potted Camellia bushes were given to the winners. The award for the prettiest hat was given to Kim New, the most unique hat award was given to Linda Burns, and the most original hat award was given to Susan Collins.

"I have to say you ladies look a lot better in hats than you ever do without hats," Thomson Mayor Bob Knox said in his opening speech.

Mayor Knox gave the proclamation for the 49th annual Camellia Day. Mayor Knox brought an old proclamation from a scrapbook that was written by his father.

"Thank you ladies for what you do keeping camellias important in our community," the Mayor said.

Twenty camellia bushes that were donated by Dudley and McCorkle Nurseries were given as door prizes. Judy Giles, Billie Thomas and Sharon Wall presented the door prizes. Billie Thomas was announced as president of next year's McDuffie County Garden Council which will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Camellia Day. The council, which consists of Merry Tillers, Pine Needle and Garden Study Clubs, played host to the event.

Web posted on Thursday, March 9, 2006

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