An art club believed to be the longest running in the district recently celebrated 50 years at the easel.
Hibiscus Coast Artists Inc was formed by a group made up of friends and pupils of Orewa artist Ivan Ruscoe, who used to meet and paint together. When Ivan went overseas, the group stayed together, forming the club to further arts in the district, but also to help people interested in painting to make a start. Its first annual meeting was held on June 22, 1968.
Fifty years later, on June 25, around 40 of the club’s members gathered at Stanmore Bay Community Hall to mark the birthday.
Over the years the club has had a number of bases, including a cottage at Hilltop, but has been meeting at Stanmore Bay Hall since 1985. Members paint together, exhibit and sell their work, visit art exhibitions and bring in guest artists and art critics.
The club has around 45 members, including a small group who are aged in their 80s and 90s – among them are two past presidents, Joan Cooke and Alison Chisholm.
The birthday featured a champagne morning tea, display of photos from the club’s archives, its record books and paintings by members.
A cake made by secretary Glennis Williams and decorated by members Audrey Westcott and helpers, was cut by president Sue Anderton.