History | The Rose Society of NSW

Established on 15 January 1913, the National Rose Society of New South Wales celebrates over 100 years of continuous operation, with some restructure along the way to become the current Rose Society of NSW Inc. The Founding President, William Herbert Ifould OBE was an avid rose grower and exhibitor. Commitment and passion are the hallmark of members throughout the long history of the Society. 

During the late 1920s and early ‘30s shows and competitions were keenly supported. Media sponsorship by the Daily Telegraph, The Australian Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day greatly stimulated wider interest in rose culture in the 1960s and ‘70s through to the ‘90s. In addition, landmark department stores Farmers/Myer, David Jones, Marcus Clark and Anthony Horderns provided wonderful venues for Spring and Autumn Rose Festivals over this period. 

Members were encouraged to participate more actively in the Society through the establishment of Regionals in various parts of the State. Currently there are eight Regional Societies: Sydney Region, Illawarra Region, Macarthur District Region, Hunter Valley Region, and Nepean Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury (NBMH) Region, and our newest Regions established in 2017 – Central Coast-Lake Macquarie Region, Southern Highlands Region and the Upper North Shore and Hills (UNSH)Region.

Spring and Autumn Rose Shows in the various Regionals serve to promote the Society and to provide members of the public with an opportunity of viewing a selection of the newest cultivars available as well as seeing roses at their very best. The Society also offers free cultural advice, identification of roses, pruning demonstrations, garden visits, bus trips and other social activities. 

To mark the first one hundred years of the Society a centenary book was compiled by Historian Judith Oyston. Titled The Rose Society of NSW Inc. Centenary 1913 – 2013, the book is an excellent and informative read, giving insights and anecdotes about each decade through the eyes of people who loved growing roses. 

If you would like to purchase a copy of the book contact The Secretary: rsnswsecretary@gmail.com.