About NSW Begonia Society

The Society was established at the instigation of Bill Morris and Ross Bolwell on the 15th June 1986 as the Australian Begonia Society, NSW Branch with subsequent name changes to The NSW Begonia Society on the 18th November 1990 and The NSW Begonia Society Incorporated on the 28th November 1990.

NSW Begonia News, the Society’s newsletter, first appeared in May 1987 and has been published regularly ever since.

The first Annual Show was held in 1989 and is held each year, currently the last weekend in February, now under the name of Exhibition and Sale of Begonias and Frangipanis. The society combined with the Australian Frangipani Society in February 2017 for the purposes of a joint show.

Foundation members Jean Whitten and Ross Bolwell have both served as President of The Association of Australian Begonia Societies (Inc) with Ross being elected in November 2018.

In June 2002 Ross Bolwell’s hybrid B. ‘Flamingo Queen’ was awarded the prestigious American Begonia Society’s ‘Alfred D Robinson Medal’. In 2008, another foundation member Peter Sharp, was honoured with the ABS ‘Eva Kenworthy Gray Award’ in recognition of contributing original material to assist rank and file members in their study of begonias, and also with the inaugural ‘Ted Williams Award’ at the National Convention in March 2011.

‘Name a Begonia’, a programme of naming in honour of deserving members of the Society, selected cultivars created by Ross Bolwell, was commenced in January 2004. This program is currently in abeyance.