Our President, Ernie Sayers, sadly passed away just before Christmas 2020 at the age of 94.
He was the last of the members who gathered in 1967 to form our Society. He will be sadly missed by us all.
Some tributes by members follow.
Firstly, a tribute to Ernie from our Chairman, Bob Malin:
Ernie was born in 1926 in Kent as a member of quite a large family. I first met him when I was putting together the flower show for the Northampton General Hospital fete. I contacted all the local horticultural groups asking them to support the flower show. Ernie contacted me and we had a meeting in his lunch break at the Chronicle and Echo, where he worked, and our friendship was forged and I joined the Fuchsia Society.
Ernie was a founder member of the Northampton and District Fuchsia Society in 1967. He was always very willing to share his vast knowledge of growing and showing the fuchsia with new members and regularly gave talks at society meetings.
Being a very competent grower and showman of the fuchsia, he grew some wonderful plants and, on several occasions, opened his large garden on the Kettering Road for our society members to look around his greenhouses and hardy fuchsia beds. Betty, his wife, always helped with the tea and homemade cakes.
A few years ago Ernie was given one of the top awards by the British Fuchsia Society in honour of his contribution to promoting the popularity of the fuchsia and his hard work over many years. When we visited shows throughout the country everyone knew and respected Ernie.
Within our society he held the posts of Show Secretary, Show Manager, Chairman and finally President.
Thank you for everything Ernie.
Bob Malin, Chairman and Show Secretary
I have known Ernie for more years than I can remember. When I first started growing and showing he was one of the first to offer his help in any way he could, always telling it as it was, that's what I liked about him. You knew just where you stood. His knowledge of fuchsias was endless and was always passing it on to anyone who cared to listen. Along with others he was there for the society when problems arose some years ago; thankfully things came right in the end which I know was a huge relief to him.
When I won his trophy for the first time it was with a lot of pride and my lasting memory of him is when I was running the B.F.S Midland Show I asked him one year if he would like to present the awards. His face lit up with pride but he was very emotional about it; that's how much he cared. That was ERNIE, HE CARED, R.I.P. Dear Friend.
Ernie and his wife, Betty, at the 45th Anniversary Dinner
So it is with much sadness that, at the beginning of 2021, we have to say goodbye to our President, Ernie Sayers, who died at home on December 13th 2020.
Ernie had been a member of the N.D.F.S since it’s conception in 1967; his knowledge and enthusiasm for growing the Fuchsia plant remained with him to the end.
I can remember him saying to me some time ago, ”as long as I have breath in my body there will be a Fuchsia Society”. Let us hope that the Fuchsia Society will continue in his memory and we can take with us his legacy of growing the Fuchsia to the best of our ability.
His love, energy, enthusiasm and continued support of the society, which he proudly represented to the end of his life, will continue in his name.
Goodbye Ernie, our dear friend.
We are so sorry to hear of Ernie passing. What a lovely man he was and how he enjoyed his fuchsias. Rest in Peace.
Val and Dave Lovett
Ernie presenting the trophies at our Fuchsia Show in 2005 with Barry Cooke and Michael Conroy
When we joined NDFS we did not know what to expect.
We joined to learn like so many of us how to grow Fuchsias.
From day one Ernie encouraged us both.
With his sense of humour, he jokingly told us I want you to put your plants on the show bench at our show!! We had only just joined the society!!
Ernie gave talks and demonstrations on how to grow fuchsias he answered our questions, however trivial in the beginning.
When we did put plants into the show Ernie was there to offer advice and encouragement.
He always made us laugh when he said, “the cuttings the society gave members were free, but you had to pay for the society cutting to enter in the class at the show”.
He encouraged Clive to become a BFS steward and to give talks at the Society, and he knew Clive qualified as an BFS associate judge.
Northampton Fuchsia Society will be poorer for his passing; he was the backbone and driving force for many a year.
Clive & Tracey Gould.
Ernie presenting Clive and Tracey Gould with the Ray Campbell Trophy for the Best Pot or Exhibit in Show in 2017