BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The Sasanqua Garden Club of Greenville had a special visitor at the Thursday, Oct. 14, meeting, which was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Greenville.
Anne Collins was the guest speaker and her grandparents were Lillie and Lamont Glass who were from Greenville.
To begin the meeting club president Jan Newton called the meeting to order and then conducted the business meeting.
Afterwards, she introduced Greenville native Nancy Idland to the attendees. Nancy spoke to the club of how she became acquainted with the guest speaker.
It began when Nancy created flower arrangements using camellias for an event and posted them to the Camellias of Alabama Facebook page.
Collins, who is an avid gardener and camellia enthusiast, notice the pictures and also Nancy’s location.
She then contacted Nancy and they then formed a friendship.
After mentioning how they came to meet, Nancy introduced Anne to the club with a large round of appreciative applause.
Anne then reintroduced herself and told of her ties to Greenville through her grandparents.
She spoke fondly of her memories of Greenville and her remembrances of attending the First Presbyterian Church.
She then mentioned Greenville was different from most cities and that it was the most gracious city she knew.
She went on to speak of several other superlatives she used to describe Greenville.
Anne said, “You are the friendliest, most kind and charming people. You are always welcoming to strangers and especially strangers in time of distress.
“Good food. You have the best cooks in the state.
“Civic mindedness. Your local civic clubs are active in the community.
Finally, she noted location, saying “You have beautiful terrain and two beautiful golf courses and two beautiful parks,” specifically noting Beeland Park and Sherling Lake Park.
She went on to speak of her grandfather’s distinct involvement for the camellia Japonica being officially named the state flower of Alabama in replacement of the goldenrod, which many thought was a noxious weed.
She recounted that she remembered being in the balcony at the Alabama House of Representatives when the motion passed to adopt the camellia as Alabama’s state flower and the jubilation afterwards.
After Annes’ talk, she received another gracious round of applause.
Jan Newton thanked her and with no further business the meeting was adjourned.