Midlands Rose Society (MRS)

midlands rose society logoHistory

In the Spring of 1987 the owners Norman and Val Yeats were introduced to Esther Geldenhuys, the President of ROSA. She agreed to address a group of rose enthusiasts at Spurwing. After her persuasive address, the Midlands Rose Society was formed. The first office bearers were Norman Yeats Chairman, Val Yeats Secretary and Reiche Plunkett Treasurer. Until the Yeats moved to Pietermaritzburg in 1990 the Rose meetings were held at Spurwing with luncheons and teas organized by Val Yeats.

The first big function hosted by our Society was when the National Convention was held in 2000 in Durban. The MRS held a Gala Luncheon for the delegates at Spurwing.

The MRS was honoured to host their first National Convention in 2006 –A Rose Affair, under the Chairmanship of Debbie Battershill. It was held in conjunction with the Sunday Tribune garden Show. The late Des Wright was installed as ROSA President following Sheenagh Harris. The guests of honour were WFRS President, Dr Gerald Meylan and his wife, Christina, Pierre Richardier from the house of Meilland in France and the Barni family from Barni’s Rose Growers in Italy.

In 2014 we hosted our next National Convention, The Magical Midlands Mystery Tour, in Hilton and the Midlands of Natal. This proved to be another successful National Convention.

Gail Birss was installed as ROSA President in October, 2015 following Joy Webb.

After many years, we reintroduced our Rose Show in October 2015 with the help of AP Smith, an accredited ROSA judge. This will be held again in October 2017.

We have recently commenced the development of a heritage rose garden at Garlington Estate and hope to open the garden for visitors in October 2017.  Please contact Gail Birss for further information in this regard.

At present our Society stands at approximately 180 members and our Subscriptions are R110 per annum.


Chairperson Gill Wilson


Secretary Margie Precious

83 Cleland Rd Hayfields. PMB 3201

Cell: 082 4281305 Home: 033 3863524

Email: midlandsrose@gmail.com

Treasurer Gail Birss

PO Box 1132 Hilton 3245

Cell: 082 4700619 Home: 033 3295068

Email: gailbirss@garlington.co.za


Midlands Rose Society email address: midlandsrose@gmail.com

Past & Present Chairwomen: Gill Wilson, Gail Birss, Thelma Austin Smith, Bernice Porrit (member) and Val Frankish (ex chairwoman)
Past & Present Chairwomen: Gill Wilson, Gail Birss, Thelma Austin Smith, Bernice Porrit (member) and Val Frankish (ex chairwoman)


We host functions throughout the year which always includes our Annual General Meeting  which takes place in early June. Functions vary from year to year like rose pruning demonstrations, summer pruning, floral displays, visits to Rose Farms, Christmas functions and special guest speakers.

We take part in the Witness Garden Show every year in September and we have won many  Gold Awards over the years. We have also won Best on Show.

We offer our members Atlantic Fertilisers, 3 times a year at discount process as well as  chemicals once a year also at discount prices.

Members receive a Newsletter 4 times a year with advice on growing roses and other interesting news.

We are not an elitist Society, but are here to learn, to give and to share ideas to grow  beautiful roses. We are members of our Society as we all love roses.

You will also find us on Facebook where we post photographs of gardens, roses and functions. We also advertise upcoming events.