I am delighted to report that GollyFest I, the first ever Convention devoted entirely to Golliwog, was a great success! - well, judging by the smiles on everyone's face, it certainly was!
I'm sure part of the reason why it was so popular, was because, for the first time, it presented the opportunity for Golly collectors to meet and chat with fellow enthusiasts. Unfortunately, I, myself, was not able to indulge in this activity very much, as it was my task to oversee the smooth running of the event, so, as you can imagine, I was kept very busy most of the time.
Anyway, for those of you who were unable to attend, I know you're just dying to know all the nitty gritty details! - so here follows a quick run down.
Between 9 and 10:30 in the morning, everyone had registered and congregated in the Majestic room, where most of the day's events were to be held. This was an opportunity for many collectors who we might have known very well by hone, or mail, but had never actually met! How wonderful to be able to put a face to that voice! I was sorry that I was not able to spend longer chatting with you all. During this time conventioneers were able to view the golliwog prizes for the raffle, place bids on the first round of silent Auction, and vote for their favorite gollies in the 'Event golly' competition.
Karl Gibbons got us started with his very informative presentation about 'The History of Dean's Gollies', and this was followed by the final bidding on the first round of silent auction, which, of course, generated much excitement.
Next came lunch, and conventioneers were greeted at each table by a large golly pantene, each of which had been handmade and donated by Terri Kovacs. At each place setting was a miniature version of the larger pantene, one for each conventioneer. At the end of lunch, one luck guest at each table found their miniature Golly was on a pink stick, and these, it turned out, were the winners of the large centerpieces.
Following lunch, Catherine Saunders-Watson gave us a fascinating talk about her 'Global Search for Golliwogs' - giving us all some useful tips on where to find Gollies and Golly related items.
Catherine showed us slides of many unique Golly pieces which most of us had never seen before, including a pair of bisque, bas relief plaques from the turn of the century, depicting hand painted scenes from Florence Upton books.
Another round of the Silent Auction followed and then everyone made their way to the Sales Room, which was packed full with the most delightful array of gollie of every description. Conventioneers had two and a half hours to browse and make purchases, and then it was back to the Majestic room for ore Silent auction bidding, the Raffle draw and announcement of the golly Competition winner. Ruth Fraser from Ontario, Canada was the winner with her "Golly & little Midget" and she will be making this next year in a limited edition of 45. The golly is 13" tall and is wearing a cotton jumpsuit in shades of orange, green, burgundy and blue, and a royal blue felt jacket. Ruth's Golly in quite original as he is holding "little Midget" a unique soft sculpture 'penny wooden' doll, 3.5" tall and jointed at the hips and shoulders. Congratulations Ruth on winning the first GollyFest artist's competition.