Biggest Morning Tea at American River

The Cancer Council's Biggest Morning Tea was held on Thursday, May 9 at The Shed, American River.

While the winds blew and the rain sheeted down in torrents, the coldest and wettest day imaginable, more than 30 people braved the elements and attended the morning tea.

The theme this year was Garden Tea Party, so the setting depicted this. Gnomes were peeking from unsuspected spots, a snow goose looked splendid as did the many other ornaments that adorned the venue.

Hosts, Lesley Beck and Ann Hamlyn turned out a regal affair with a table fit for a king.

This is the fourth year they have conjured up the coupling of morning tea with a theme.

Two years ago they had The Mad Hatters Tea Party, complete with a "real" Mad Hatter with his 10 pound note in his hat, while last year, it was Apron Day, next year...who knows!

Raffles included a bag of potting mix, mulch or cow manure, a beautiful basket full of various plants and a bucket full of garden essentials.

Some of the winners were: Elaine Stoeckel; Barb Brooks, Lyn Jamieson, John and Jen Stevenson.

Another item for raffle was an amazing felted bag, donated by Roz Charles from Mouth Flat. She had literally taken the wool of her sheep's back, wash it, dyed it, spun it, knitted it and felted it. It is truly magnificent accomplishment.

Tickets are still available for a short time, at the American River Post Office for $5 each if anyone missed out.

Trading tables bulged with plants of many colours, some yanked up from their garden beds that morning, pots of jam, terrariums and assorted items.

All who came enjoyed a variety of teas and proper brewed coffee. Ample food, both savoury and sweet, hot and cold, were displayed on tables decorated with peonies. The same decorations were mirrored on the eating table.

With most of the money counted, everyone was delighted to hear that we had raised the staggering amount of just over $1500.

This included donations from The Shed ($200): Exercise Group ($100) and the Indoor Bowls Group ($25).

A huge congratulations to Lesley and Ann but also thank you to the community for their continued support in gaining money for this very worthwhile cause.

History of Gnomes

Gnomes date back to ancient Roman Greco era to a tribe in Greek mythology. These gnomes were benevolent beings, they were intelligent and wise, hard working in manual labour, peaceful in nature yet fierce defenders when necessary.

They were guardians of farmland; gardens and small livestock and forest animals. When lands were under attack they rode upon a goats back brandishing spears to drive out the invaders!

In Celtic and Germanic lore, the gnomes were a tribe attributed with earth element magic and were defenders of mines and under ground tunnels. It was believed that gnomes could move through the earth and breath underground with the same ease their human counterparts do above ground in the air.

Gnomes were said to have magical powers to protect or punish people - or to reward them with happiness. Gnomes are also said to be guardians of secret underground treasure - especially gold!

More modern descriptions of gnomes usually emphasise their bright red pointed hats, solid coloured clothes, and the long white beard of the typical male.

Though sightings of female gnomes are rarely reported, gnome women are generally thought to be beard-free. (YEA!!)

Another myth is that garden gnome as we know them today were first created in the mid-1800s by Phillip Griebel, a sculptor of terracotta animals in Germany.

In 1847, returning from his travels in Germany, Sir Charles Isham brought 21 terracotta gnomes back to his home in UK.

Only one of the 21 original gnomes survives today, known as "Lampty" it is still kept on display and is insured for one million pounds!

However, there appears to be two types of gnomes, the garden gnome and the lawn gnome!!

The name 'gnome' is said to come from the Latin work "gnomus" which is thought to possibly come from the Greek work "gnosis" meaning "knowledge" (i.e. of hidden treasure), but is more likely rooted in the work "genomos" meaning "earth dweller".

High status Chelsea garden show in London has banned gnomes leading to claims that the show organisers are being snobbish as gnomes are particularly popular in working class neighbourhoods.