History of the Bonsai Society
First meeting of the Bonsai Society of WA was in a garden shop at the Floreat Forum in July 1976, and in Spring of that year the newly formed club was invited to stage a display of Bonsai at the Perth Royal Show. The members were delighted and worked hard to set up a show that they called “Tranquillity – A display of the best Bonsai in WA”
In those early days of Bonsai in WA the only pots that were available were from Boans Ltd and these were very expensive, so members bought a diamond tip drill and drilled out drainage holes in clay pots used in kitchens. Some members also tried the technique of planting seeds in scooped out oranges, the theory being that the citric acid in the skin of the orange dwarfed the plant, this of course was a fallacy and proven to be untrue.
Club meetings were held in various homes and halls until the club settled down to meet regularly at the Leederville Town Hall. In January 1995 the club moved to the Lesser Hall of the South Perth Civic Centre before it relocated to the Collins Street Centre in South Perth where it holds its regular meeting on the last Monday of each month (not Dec). The Club holds an annual exhibition of Bonsai, and other shows, exhibitions and community events are held throughout the year at various venues. A mini seminar weekend Gathering about Bonsai ( GAB ) is also held for the bonsai community to network and increase their knowledge.
The Bonsai Society of WA was incorporated in 1989 and has over the years been visited by many National and International Bonsai artists who have helped the members to improve and develop their skills in the art of Bonsai. In 1996 the Club celebrated its 20th anniversary with a weekend of Bonsai demonstrations, workshops and a public display held at the Orchard Hotel in Perth. These 3 days of intense Bonsai activity was called “Celebration 20” and featured a Japanese Bonsai expert Mr Hirotoshi Saito. In 2001 the Club hosted the AABC National Bonsai convention at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, this event also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Bonsai Society in WA with US Bonsai expert Mr Ernie Kuo as the event headliner. In 2011 we again hosted the AABC National Bonsai convention “Come Together” at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, with Min Hsuan Lo ( Taiwan ) as the headliner The exhibition at this event he classed as of international standard. In 2017 BSWA won the bid to host the 9th World Bonsai Convention on behalf of the Australia- New Zealand region of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation proposed for 2021. Due to COVID 19 unfortunately it was held as a Virtual event and in 2023 the Club hosted the AABC 35th National Bonsai convention “ Back Together “ at the Crown Resort with the largest and highest standard exhibition of bonsai and suiseki ever in WA.
The club has received support over the years from City of Bayswater, City of South Perth, Volunteers WA, Federal Government Volunteer grant, LotteryWest, CANWA and for promoting a healthy lifestyle from Healthways WA.
In the last few years this club has assisted the formation of the bonsai clubs Bonsai South West and Mandurah Bonsai and also has an active subgroup the Albany Bonsai Collective as a part of our club.In August 2022 BSWA received the Japanese Foreign Minister commendation for promoting Japanese Culture over many years – one of only 2 groups in Australia ( 40 groups globally) to gain that award that year.