Jubilee Flower Festival – June 2012

It`s wonderful to be able to report that the double celebration at Holy Trinity Church this last weekend of Her Majesty`s Diamond Jubilee and our own Holy Trinity with our first Flower Festival was a tremendous success – so much so that the flower festival remained open for an extra day to ensure all who wished could visit.  The following photos to not do justice to the skilled team of flower ladies who, over a period of five months, planned, co-ordinated, designed, built and finally created these sumptuous displays.

Tea anyone...?

Each exhibit was based on a theme chosen by the team member responsible for its design and creation. These ranged from the Titanic, to the Royal Yacht and even included a birthday cake. Visitors were very generous with their donations which will be going to provide funds for future restoration programmes.

My personal favourite was the Titanic exhibit, not because the scale model of this famous cruise liner was so carefully brought to life by the model maker, nor due to the stunning and carefully chosen subtle palette of colours of its accompanying floral display, no, but because the designer had taken so much care to trace historical details of three Madeirenses who were travelling on board to America and had lost their lives in pursuit of a better life… this touch of poignancy was further enhanced by the choice of three small simple house leeks  rosettes (Sempervivum crassulaceae) within the display. Those of us lucky to inhabit the northern cliffs of the island are well acquainted with their abundant displays as they follow the sun and end each day gazing towards the horizon of the North Atlantic where the ship itself met with its sudden demise.

Our own Honorary British Consul Mrs Joy Menezes graciously hosted her own Jubilee tea party on the church lawns on Friday 1st June, and throughout the five day event a team of volunteers manned the kitchens and provided, if sustenance were needed, a steady flow of Jubilee tea, coffee, fruit juice and cakes of myriad designs and flavours to those enjoying the sunshine beneath a panoply of fluttering “union jack” buntings in the glorious setting of the restored church gardens.

Whatever your personal politics, indeed, it was hard to prevent the nostalgia from watering the eye and for those of us who count this Island of Flowers their new home it brought a touch of Old Albion sorely missed. With drooping eyes through the haze of  the many visitors and lulled by the sounds of gentle conversations and chink of tea cups, it was easy to imagine the soft thud of leather meeting willow followed by such polite applause as would have completed the picture of a perfect English summer afternoon.


Here is the (almost) full company of Flower Festival volunteers about to enjoy a special celebration lunch given by the chaplain and church council:

…and here is the team that designed and built the wonderful individual flower displays :

Note: A special “thank you” celebration for the other members of the  Festival team Jim and Val Thwaites  who were unable to be with us for the group photos or lunch has  been arranged following their return from a well deserved holiday in the UK later in the month.

About holytrinitychurch

This is the official blog site for the Anglican Church of The Holy Trinity, and the historic British Cemetery situated in the heart of the city of Funchal, on the glorious, Portuguese island of Madeira. It is hoped that this blog will encourage dialogue, however, comments deemed to be blasphemous, offensive or personal will not be published.
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4 Responses to Jubilee Flower Festival – June 2012

  1. Mike Duckett says:

    The Flower Festival flowers look stunning. What a lot of talent contained within a small island. Well done to all concerned.

  2. Charles Watson says:

    Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, the head of our church, celebrated her sixty years on the throne of England and Dominions with a wonderful flower show at the English Church here in Funchal. Why was it felt necessary for Her Majesty to share this with the biggest maritime disaster ever? A self-inflicted one. Surely she was entitled to a “sole billing” as the head of our church? It was after all her sixtieth anniversary. Very strange that you (and of course we are not allowed to know who you are. Nowhere on the church´s website does it tell us the names of the officers of the church.) chose to have our Queen share this event with an awful maritime disaster that tragically took so many lives.
    As to the first flower festival. Not strictly true. A few years ago we were fortunate to have Lnc Corp. Johnson Beharry V.C. come to the English Church to unveil a plaque to the first gazetted VC holder, Wiiliam Buckley V.C. The one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the Victoria Cross. This event saw all of Caroline´s students plus the general flower arrangers of the English Church working together to adorn, not only the church, but also the marquee in the grounds. That was possibly the first flower festival, although, I could be quite incorrect. I have only lived on Madeira since February 1998.
    For some reason there is no author of this article in the “blog”.

  3. Further to your post we wanted to clarify two issues: Firstly, this was our first official Flower Festival, and the previous event was in fact a dedication. Secondly, we also wanted to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and have a memorial to those who perished on the Titanic, with the Titanic being separated out into its own corner of the exhibition. As a result of the dual theme we garnered many plaudits, interest and learnt when the event was being publicised that 3 Madeirans went down with the Titanic. This provided a wonderful opportunity to engage with the local community, including school children, and for people to enjoy all the exhibits and for people to reminisce on family members who had helped construct the Titanic.

    signed, Neil Dawson, Chaplain Holy Trinity Church

  4. Please Note: Unless otherwise stated, all articles contained within this blog were written by the church administrator,who is currently Cefyn Embling-Evans.

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