By Kath Gannaway
After a number of years hosting the Biggest Morning Tea to raise funds for cancer research, Lorraine Dunbar felt she needed a change.
“It came out of the blue. I woke up one morning with the idea to have a tea cosy competition,” she explained.
“I just thought, that’s a good idea,” and with the Tea Cosy Exhibition and Competition now in its fifth year at Warratina Lavender Farm in Wandin, it’s certainly turned out to be an excellent idea!
Lorraine is a keen knitter, and although she had never knitted a tea cosy, she had lots of crafty friends more than willing to put their hands and minds to creating quirky, pretty, cute, functional, themed and some quite strange tea cosies.
Annemarie Manders from the Lavender Farm didn’t hesitate to provide a home for the competition and the rest is a cosy little bit of history, as they say!
Lorraine said whatever was needed, the answer was always ‘yes’.
“People just joined in; they just helped. It seemed like it was being scripted from above,” she said reflecting on the reason she is so passionate about supporting cancer research – the loss of a husband and daughter to cancer.
So making tea cosies is one thing – and entries come in from overseas and around Australia for the competition – but who buys them?
According to Lorraine, lots of people and all sorts of people.
Essentially the job of the tea cosy is to keep the tea pot nice and hot, but it’s the fantastic variety and the fabulous makers that make the exhibition such a success and such fun.
The core group of around a dozen ladies meets every week.
“They’re just lovely, caring people with positive attitudes who just want to do stuff,” Lorraine says.
“There’s a buzz in the shed, a beautiful, happy noise that’s really amazing.”
Others, including local Country Women’s Association members have come on board with a range of handmade items which are sold in the gift shed, adding a bit of variety.
The 5th Annual Tea Cosy and Exhibition is open until 22 July, between 10am and 4pm. Entry by gold coin donation.
Warratina Lavender Farm is at 105 Quayle Road, Wandin Yallock. Phone 5964 4650.