Home' Visitors Guide : Spring 2010 Contents Spring 2010 ❙ 9
THE SPLENDOUR of the tulips, not previously seen in the
shire, and the popularity of the floral festival highlighted the
potential to establish an event that would "truly showcase the
spring beauty" of the Highlands.
And a young entrepreneurial businessman, Ted Springett,
pulled out all the stops to ensure the event came to fruition.
In fact, Ted was the driving force behind the first Tulip Time
Festival in 1961 and is the only member of the original
committee alive today to tell the story of the origins of our
region's most celebrated annual event.
"We started with a Festival of Flowers in 1958," he said.
"The festival was the idea of a lady named Mary Morgan
who co-opted me to help her establish an event that showed
flowers in the hospital grounds and in the street.
"She wrote to bus companies all over the state encouraging
them to come see our flowers and we ended up with a huge
number of stalls in Wingecarribee Street as well as cars and
floats in the main street of Bowral."
Ted joined Bowral Rotary Club in 1960 when he turned 40
and was no longer allowed, under the by-laws of the group,
to be a member of Apex.
As a Rotarian he wasted no time making his mark.
"A few of the guys in the Rotary Club thought the tulips
planted during the Festival of Flowers looked good and
thought it would be a good idea to plant them in Corbett
Gardens, but they didn't want a festival or fuss," he said.
"I was the club's community service director at the time and
thought it was crazy not to attract people to the area to see
Visitors to the area also
had the chance to take a
closer look at some of the
private gardens for a sma
Ted became the first
Tulip Time Committee
president, a role he held
for eight years and the
festival was used as
a vehicle not only to
showcase the tulips, but to
also raise money for charity.
"We selected charities each
year to benefit from money
raised through private garden
viewings and one of the first major
donations was to Bowral District Memorial Hospital," he
Ted said the festival was confined to the Bowral area in
the first few years. However, he was glad it quickly grew to
become a shire-wide celebration.
"During the course of my time on the Tulip Time committee
the original band rotunda in Corbett Gardens was falling
down and I pushed for it to be replaced with a fountain -- it
was the worst decision I ever made," he said.
"The tiles kept falling off and it was a monstrosity. So I
In the beginning ...
A FEW TULIPS GROWN IN A PRIVATE GARDEN AND A FESTIVAL
OF FLOWERS IN BOWRAL IN THE LATE 1950S WAS POSSIBLY THE
EARLIEST INSPIRATION FOR WHAT HAS EVOLVED INTO A MAJOR
FLORAL CELEBRATION FOR THE HIGHLANDS.
Ted Springett first Tulip Time
Tulip Time program
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