Welcome to the website of the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies, an area of NAFAS.

Enjoy browsing through our site, as we hope to keep you informed, as to what floral events are happening around the area.

We are affiliated to NAFAS the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies a registered charity. Currently the NIGFAS Area has 21 clubs with a membership of 1000. Our aim is to encourage all in the art of flower arranging, through demonstrations, talks, classes, flower festivals and show work. Many of these activities take place in local flower clubs to which you would be made most welcome.

No experience is necessary to join a flower club. Go along to one, you might discover a new talent! Please click on Flower Clubs to find one near you.

NIGFAS take an active part in the Belfast Spring and Autumn Fairs. Come and see us at our stand. See the Belfast Parks Department events brochures or website for details of these Shows.

There are lots of exciting events coming up and we would love to have your support at as Many of these as possible
Please Check Floral Events for Information
Liz Manning NIGFAS Area Chairman

NIGFAS Facebook Page
This is the link below to click if you wish to follow the NIGFAS Facebook Page

NIGFAS Virtual Flower Show 2020
This is Class 1 Tranquility
Please click on the link below to view the Exhibits

This is Class 2 Treasures from The Garden
A small scale Design
Please click the link below to view the Exhibits

This is Class 3 Lockdown Sculpture
Please Click the link below to view the exhibits

This is Class 4 Rhythmic Delight's
Please click the link below to view the exhibits

This is Class 5 All That Jazz
Please click the link below to view the Exhibits

NIGFAS Virtual Flower Show
People's Choice Results
Congratulations to Everyone
Class 2 Treasures From The Garden have 2 Exhibits 
with the same amount of Votes
Class 1 Tranquility Clare Mc Farlane Greenisland Flower Club
Class 2 Treasures From The Garden
Liz Manning Londonderry Flower Club
Class 2 Treasures From The Garden
Mary Pearson Comber Flower Club
Class 3 Lockdown Sculpture
Mary Pearson Comber Flower Club
Class 4 Rhythmic Delight's 
Kim Anh Nguyen Comber Flower Club
Class 5 All That Jazz
Sharon Campbell Lower Bann Flower Club

Special Announcement EGM
 Special Announcement 
Notice is given of - ZOOM : Extraordinary General Meeting
Saturday 3rd October 10 am.
Purpose of meeting: To confirm the appointment of the new NIGFAS Office Bearers and to hand over to the new NIGFAS Executive Committee.
Meeting is open to all paid up club members.
A quorum of 30 members is needed.
If you would like to join this Zoom meeting please email emanning1103@gmail.com for log on details by Friday 25th September
We still have had no proposals for Vice Chairman or Media Officer so if you would like to get involved please make contact ASAP.

A Message from the President of NIGFAS
I would encourage everyone to download The Stop Covid NI App. A small thing we could all do to help in the fight against Covid 19
Liz Manning NIGFAS Area Chairman
The link below is the CovidCare NI App

This is a Video message from our President Liz Manning
Please click the link below to view the Video

NAFAS National Chairman Resignation

Can NIGFAS MEMBERS and Flower Clubs please check the Guidelines for Northern Ireland
This is the link for Guidelines for Northern Ireland

Flower Arranger


Letter from National Chairman of NAFAS

Dear Members,

Last October, as I began my National Chairmanship with a new Board, much promise was anticipated. Unfortunately, we had a lot to overcome. Many of you will be aware that the Diamond Anniversary Event incurred a considerable financial loss which was a great disappointment to our members. As a member myself, I am extremely sad, too, and want to say how sorry I am that it happened. We have extensively investigated the circumstances and obtained greater insight into running such large events. It was clear that many factors contributed to the loss. The whole Diamond Event was over-ambitious especially when little sponsorship was forthcoming. The competition work, judging, talks, educational workshops, photography and exhibition pieces, of course, were outstanding as they always are at NAFAS competitive events.  It was hard to keep track of expenditure. NAFAS was hacked three times in February 2019 and our Company Secretary had officially retired the previous November, though he kindly tried to assist NAFAS for some months afterwards. Unfortunately, Board members saw few detailed updates of finances during the run up to the Show and Dinner and sometimes decisions were not minuted. The high cost of coming to London resulted in poor footfall. Measures have now been put in place to stop losses like that ever happening again. These have been reported to the Charities Commission who have been satisfied with them.

From March 2020, the storm of the Coronavirus pandemic has raged, bringing further challenges to the Association. Over the past few months, NAFAS has made many, much needed changes for the better including ways of working through establishing new Board specialist Teams, cutting costs and proposed revisions of the Articles of Association. We have started to plan and prepare new publications, create a new and exciting website and set in place Virtual Meetings with the Board, Committees, Area Chairmen and staff.

In June and shortly after, I was so very sad to say goodbye to lovely friends and colleagues who had brought such hope to NAFAS. We received kind messages after these resignations at such a difficult time in our NAFAS history. I would like to thank them for all they have done for NAFAS and wish them well in whatever they now undertake.

After having the huge losses from the Diamond Events, we once again find ourselves in financial difficulty with a serious cashflow problem and no reserves for 2020/21 which is extremely worrying. A way forward has been discussed at length by the Board, National President and our CEO at regular Virtual Meetings.

We have recently applied for a £150,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan from NatWest Bank to help the Association through to the end of next year. Should it be agreed, we can choose how much of the loan we take up, but re-payments will be needed over time and these must be manageable. If this is not approved, we shall have to look elsewhere but application time is short.

The Flower Arranger magazine has always contributed a considerable financial sum to the Association’s income. Due to Government closure of non-essential shops during the pandemic, The Flower Arranger could not be sold to the public. Sales will therefore be down considerably, along with income to NAFAS. As Clubs have not met during lockdown, some members have now subscribed directly to ensure that they are guaranteed to receive their magazines and this may be the preferred method of renewal for members in the coming months. However, Club Subscriptions are hugely discounted - £12.80 rather than £22 for an Individual Subscriber.  I would like to encourage you all to subscribe to our inspirational and informative journal. If you haven’t renewed your subscription then you should contact your Club Chairman or your Club Flower Arranger Officer to subscribe.

After extensive consultation within Areas, some have been generous by considering providing a loan to support the National Association after this was suggested by a few Area Chairmen at a Virtual National Advisory Council Meeting. The preferred option is to provide Affiliation Fees and some are also able to pay these early for which we are especially grateful. Personally, I am not very happy with going ‘cap in hand’ for this money but options are few.

You will know that our main source of income is the Affiliation Fee paid annually by each member of the Association, collected by your Club within the Club’s annual subscription. Many Clubs have been unable to collect subscriptions this year due to lockdown and this situation could create further financial problems next year as no one knows how many members will be recruited. We must, as members, save our Clubs and Areas to be able to function through our Affiliation Fees. Please do ensure that your Club affiliates to your Area so that the future of NAFAS is ensured. Today, in the pandemic, wellbeing has been uppermost and creating with flowers and foliage makes us feel better inside. It gives a warm feeling of belonging, combatting loneliness especially in stressful and unhappy times.  We need each other - our passion will surely see us through.

We have decided to bring forward the Feasibility Study destined for review in 2022. We need to be ready for all eventualities. NAFAS is in a better state than many Charities. We are fortunate to have Osborne House, our Grade II listed Georgian Headquarters, as an asset. It seems, however, that our asset may have to be realised. There are all sorts of options for the future – selling, renting, leasing or selling and leasing back. Funding from the sale could be used to obtain rented office space or relocation to smaller premises. As a consequence we could, with careful management, be in an improved situation to move forward as an Association. We have two strands of the Feasibility Study working now: the first one regarding existing and future requirements of the Association and the second, a preliminary consultation with a professional Property Company to establish our options on Osborne House. We have received a free report from the Property Company discussing our options. Further detailed and careful discussions, based on this report, will need to take place. Feedback from members is important so let us know what you think via your Area Chairmen.

Can I kindly ask you to, if you haven’t already done so, to pay your Affiliation Fees to keep your Club affiliated to NAFAS and to your Area. Your fees will enable the Association to continue for the coming year.

Coronavirus is not going away. We must learn to deal with it until a vaccine is introduced. That could take time. There is an Unlock Guidance document available from NAFAS now to help you and your Club with the kind of decisions you need to make as things start up once again in our flowery world. Please don’t let NAFAS disappear. It is just too good an Association to lose. New volunteers will be in post shortly including a Vice-Chairman and the Board will resume its important role with fresh enthusiasm.

With your support we can make a brighter future together and spread our passion to ‘Bring People and Flowers Together’.

Thank you.



Dr. Christina Curtis (NAFAS National Chairman)                                                                                 1 AUGUST 2020                                                

NAFAS Appointments


Congratulations to Alan Beatty on his award as a NAFAS National Associate of Honour
 in recognition of his work and dedication in many areas of NAFAS and NIGFAS . 
Well done Alan from everyone in NIGFAS

Challenges during Lockdown
Good Evening Members
The NIGFAS Executive Committee have come up with some challenges for our members over the coming months.
There are some exciting things to look forward to.
To start of we are asking for you to send in a photograph to sum up your personal experience during lockdown.
Please send them to nigfassocialmedia@gmail.com
They will then be posted to the Facebook page by the 20th July 2020
Many Thanks in Advance
Social Media Officer Bernie Jackson Challenge 1 Here's a selection of the challenges to view all the entries see NIGFAS Facebook page Decorating has become a big part of Lockdown Liz Manning
Paperwork doesn't stop for NIGFAS Treasurer Lorraine Bothwell
PSNI Teddies Mary Tompsett
Time to admire the beautiful May Sunsets Phyllis Boyd
Amaryllis glowing brightly as the sun shines indoors Phyllis Boyd
Walking on the back roads from home wistfully looking at the Mournes Mary Pearson
Taking the opportunity of using old magazines in a more interesting and decorative way Marietta Coleman
Challenge 2 We would like you to design a Foliage Design from your Garden Material There is no judging in this challenge just a chance for you to make an exhibit Inclusive until the 3rd August so there is plenty of time to make your design. Thank you for participation in challenge 1 looking forward to all the photos of exhibits of Foliage Design Please send the photo of your design to nigfassocialmedia@gmail.com 2 Garden Foliage Designs by James Burnside
Challenge 3 The NIGFAS Virtual Flower Show

Challenge 4
Photo of Flower /Bloom or Blossom
Cherie Nummy sunflower with Butterflies

Beverley Stevenson Peony in the Garden

Joan Muldrew Gerbera

Mary Pearson from the Garden

This is a Video Message from Chairman of NIGFAS Liz Manning
Please click the link below to view the video

Message from our Chairman of NIGFAS Liz Manning

Late on Friday 12th June 2020 I received a message from Steven Lane Chief Executive Officer NAFAS
‘The National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies Press Release from the Board of Directors, 12th June 2020
It is with great sadness and regret that the Board announce the resignation of two of it’s Directors. Vice Chairman, Craig Bullock and Pam Ferguson have resigned with immediate effect. Both have thanked their fellow Directors for their friendship during their time in office.
The Board also announce the resignation of the Chairman of the Editorial Committee and Director of NAFAS Enterprises Ltd, Muriel Simpson.
The Directors wish to thank Craig, Pam and Muriel for everything they have done for NAFAS during the most challenging period in the Charity’s history and wish them well for the future.
The Association, already facing the most difficult of times, must now address this latest setback and plan a new way forward. A Board meeting will be held on Monday at 10.00am to address the situation and a full statement will follow ‘

Today the following statement was received. Until the Area Chairmen have a zoom meeting I have no further information



This is a letter from The Chairperson of AOIFE regarding an update ON Covid 19

Association of Irish Floral Artists


Dear Secretary,

A meeting of the AOIFA Executive was held via Zoom on 18th June with a view to regulate for the

Association, in these unprecedented and unpredictable times. It was unanimously decided that, due

to Covid - 19, AOIFA gatherings should cease until the AGM in March 2021, when the new

Executive will take over. It is envisaged that such activities will return to normal in 2021. Ways of

delivering  some of the Judges’ Course on line are being investigated.

This decision was made in order to secure the health and safety of our members and to bring some

degree of clarity to the current uncertainty. In the interim, the current Executive will remain in place

and manage the Association’s affairs with the help of the incoming Executive.

As each club is autonomous it may make its own decisions regarding its activities and is advised to

do so based on HSE and Government Guidelines. Please refer to www2.hse.ie as how to protect

yourself and others.

It is hoped to keep in touch with members by providing short virtual demonstrations and features by

our members. Please keep an eye on the AOIFA website for updates and reports.

Booking fees for the March 2020 AGM and Individual and Club membership fees, already paid, can

be forwarded to next year.

Your much appreciated fund raising money was donated to Pieta House recently. It was very

welcome in these difficult times. I acknowledge the hard work that all clubs put in to raising this

much needed money for our charity.

As we look forward to returning to normality in the spring, the AOIFA Executive joins with me in

wishing you good health and wellbeing.

Kindly convey this information to ALL your members.


Yours sincerely,

Mary O’Brien


Pre- National Assessment and National Demonstrators Test Revised Dates Wednesday 21st April and Thursday 22nd April 2021

National Demonstrators Test
to be held at
Northwich Memorial Court

Wednesday 21st April 2021
Thursday 22nd April 2021
10.00am to 4.30pm
(doors open at 9.30am)

TICKETS £12 per person, per day
available from
Vanessa Keys, NAFAS, Osborne House, 12 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4TE

cheques payable to NAFAS – please include a SAE
card payments taken at Headquarters 020 7247 5567 – digital tickets issued
tea & coffee available
Reg Charity No. 1101348
Test held by kind permission of The Cheshire Area of NAFAS

Update on Deliveries of The Flower Arranger Magazine 

Our Flower Arranger Officer George Madden has forwarded this information from Sylvia Loader NAFAS 

Just to let you know during this very difficult time, Warners are having to make some changes to their staff levels.  I have been advised that my normal contact for delivery issues will not be around for the next 3 weeks, all the Flower Arranger work is being spread between different staff all now working from home.   Please continue to report problems in the normal way, but please be aware that delays in information getting back to me/you will be inevitable.

It is essential that when reporting problems to me that you supply the following information:

Club Ref and Club name

CFAO name and address

Problem reported

Number of magazines ordered

Rings of Hope & Appreciation


Flower Arrangers all over the country are creating door rings to show their appreciation of the NHS staff and essential workers during this emergency. They are decorating them in green and blue, with ribbons, flowers and foliage.


The ring symbolises unending and everlasting love, the cycle of life and hope. Green is for renewal, balance and progress, and blue for the NHS.


Gloucester based NAFAS member and Master Florist Katherine Kear, whose idea this was, thanks all who have already decorated their doors and encourages the public to find creative ways to take part in this gesture of thanks.


Step by step ideas, suitable for beginners and children, can be found on the NAFAS Facebook page @NafasFlowers and also Katherine Kear’s Facebook page @KatherineKearFlowers. A ‘How to’ video is available on the nafasflowers YouTube 

Obituary to The Rev Mac

NIGFAS members have been very saddened by the death of the
Very Rev. William McMillan MBE, MA on 19th. January 2020.
This is a tribute to our wonderful friend who is so sadly missed by everyone.
With affection he was called “Mac” by all who knew him and in a strange way he didn’t need the title “Rev” to indicate his Christianity and his love and respect for all aspects of God’s Creation. When Mac left school, his teacher said he would either end up on the stage or the pulpit. She underestimated him. He did both.
Mac said that he became involved in flower arranging by accident! His first love of flowers stemmed from gardening and he was a member of Suffolk Garden Society. Observing the Floral Art Competitions, he expressed his opinions on the matter of drapes and was challenged to do better. He accepted the challenge and joined a class taken by the late Mrs Betty McCrory. He used to arrange the flowers for special events in church and pretend that his wife Sheila had done them. It was not long before the Newry congregation realised that it was Mac and not Sheila who did the flowers. To quote his son” Dad, it is bad enough having to be the son of a clergyman, but a flower arranger as well?”
On moving to Dunmurry he ‘discovered ‘Julia Clements and Betty, recognising his particular talents, encouraged him to enter competitions. He was then persuaded to take his Area Demonstrator’s test. It wasn’t long until he undertook his National Demonstrator’s Test and was asked to demonstrate at the next National Show in Bournemouth. More National Shows followed. He has travelled the world demonstrating from Mexico to India, Barbados to Bangkok and many places closer to home. He used many of these events to raise funds for charities at home and abroad seeing every invite as a privilege and feeling that he learnt so much from the different cultures that he could not take a fee for himself.
He was chairman of NIGFAS from 1978-1980.
In Northern Ireland he worked to establish cross community nursery schools, places that did not exist at that time. At the 1978 Congress in Oxford he was awarded the IARF Albert Schweitzer Award for his work in breaking down barriers and in promoting religious freedom.
He was appointed a Special Associate of Honour of NAFAS in 1989.
He received the MBE in 1999 in recognition of his charity work.
Garden Clubs of America made him an Honorary Member, their highest award, granted only to 4 people outside the United Sates.
He lectured on several occasions in the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

In 2000 Mac was asked by Father Finnegan to design a festival to celebrate the Millennium at Dromantine House, Newry, Co Down and 120 of his friends from 26 different countries came to Design 2000- An International Symposium of Floral Art. Delegates gave him a standing ovation and Mac quoting his beloved Yeats ‘Tread softly / Because you tread on my dreams’ said simply ‘You have made my dream come true’. This international gathering was repeated in 2006.
A prolific writer Mac penned books, articles and pamphlets on many subjects. His writings displayed both a depth and breadth of knowledge presented in a style that was eloquent, accurate and instructive. ‘Floral Designs – A Celtic Way’ and ‘Beyond Mere Words’ are examples of his published Floral Art books
To celebrate his 80th Birthday and the contribution he made to flower arranging NIGFAS arranged to have a plant named after him and in 2011 the name HOSTA
‘Reverend MAC’ was registered.
He won Best in Show at WAFA in Canada and in 2014 Mac won the special WAFA award for the MOST INNOVATIVE design at the 11th World Flower Show held in Dublin, and this was after he supposedly retired!!
MAC was a true friend to many, had a great interest in history, a wonderful command of language, worked tirelessly to unite communities in Northern Ireland and served Dunmurry First Presbyterian (Non- Subscribing) Church faithfully. We in NIGFAS are so proud to have known this outstanding man.
He is survived by his wife Sheila who over the years had to stay at home because of work, family commitments and to ‘mind the shop’ but was his rock and constant support.
Our Thoughts and prayers are with Sheila and the family at this sad time and he will be missed by all in the Flower Arranging world.

Liz Manning

NIGFAS Chairman

Condolences Message  From Our Chairman

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Rev William McMillan MBE died  peacefully this morning. Rev MAC was a Special  Associate of Honour of NAFAS , a past Chairman of NIGFAS and a friend to many and will be greatly missed . Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this sad time. 

Liz Manning 

NIGFAS Chairman


20 April 2020 


In South Island, New Zealand

14-25 March 2021

Dear members

The UK has been invited to send 10 delegates to take part in the above event. The Seminar will give attendees a chance to experience the host country’s culture, see floral art presentations and competitive work (which may involve judging), take part in workshops with top tutors and view wonderful scenery around the Seminar’s hubs in Christchurch and Queenstown in an atmosphere of fun and friendship along with other delegates within the WAFA family. 

The cost of the Seminar ONLY for shared accommodation has been estimated as approximately NZ$8,000 and single occupancy as NZ$10,000. Due to the New Zealand Government’s plans/rules for post lockdown in the months ahead, the programme and costs are subject to alteration. The WAFA NZ Host Committee suggests that WAFA members keep up to date by using the website www.wafanz.co.nz 

PLEASE NOTE: Delegates will be expected to pay for themselves, arrange their own insurance and organize their own travel to and from New Zealand at the appropriate time. If desired, delegates can make their own arrangements to extend their stay in New Zealand before and/or after the Seminar.

If interested, please submit your name and contact details to me by 30th May 2020, via vanessa@nafas.org.uk and a list will be prepared. Should there be more than 10 applicants then a ballot will take place. Some countries do not take up their whole allocation of places and if unsuccessful in the ballot, attendance may still be possible. 

With kindest regards

Yours sincerely

Dr. Christina Curtis


NATIONAL Photography Competition 2020

Ladies and Gentlemen, you have just 13 weeks left to sort out your winning images for the 2020 NAFAS National Photography Competition. Even if you haven’t been able to get out and about, most of the class titles can be interpreted from your own home or garden, or from your photo archive, so what are you waiting for? We look forward to receiving your entry, so don’t delay, download the schedule now if you haven’t already! https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nafas.org.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F11%2FPhotography-Competition-2020.pdf%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR2uL2bmyMcH8KaRYDg5gjnfsJ6OZEmEpJRPaBq5dedfsasTdPz0YJKFaIg&h=AT1SszbyNVoW5K4Wvp0kZNj0pKvqM221NJwbsIO9yESLngbF8-aX2amQ_sP23on5omizf-4HJqOfj2k3ow-os7a5L3eapLcHbIC5Kt3GGiBU2n5NEuzCi607sHBFhTFFdL1mZHPF-d4aINTDd991&__tn__=-UK-y-R&c[0]=AT2OHdvBcNwroK2qwFMPrr7HJ_nW5X606GMiSXSEbvh3V-YwRq44_Q8IIOsBbqMscp_xNDj8AS5i7_lULNIgMxa-84aRrkDddBTqOVU9worU2MCcF2BICbERdQYu9mlPmmgNTa1E-OXw-08PTOuopeYfE0YBFsdkEveZsMhtbgus29rLDygsv4N_CEviaOXbJi1yfHNcSRfjwRe5F0WXDlT8nY-euRSW2ZDzZotZBJkTOqhQIKLrgUFfAxE71fcx4cvcJg
These are the winners of the NAFAS National Photography Competition
Please click the link below to view the results
These are the winning Images from the NAFAS National Photography Competition 2020
Please click the link below to view the winning Images


Congratulations to Mary Pearson Comber and Inspirations Club 
Receiving 3rd Prize Class 5 "Something Beginning with A"
NAFAS National Photography Competition

For latest Photos & Videos from NIGFAS & NAFAS