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Local residents do well at annual Camellia Show

Local camellia enthusiasts made a strong showing at the awards table of the 50th annual Camellia Show in Brookhaven.

The show, hosted by the Brookhaven Camellia Society, draws entries from throughout the region and perennially proves a diverse venue for camellia enthusiasts.

“It was a very nice turnout,” said show chairman Homer Richardson. “It was a very good show.”

In all, there were about 1,332 entries in the show.

Though entries came from places including Biloxi, New Orleans and Pensacola, Fla., Richardson was further pleased by the number of local residents entering the show.

Even better, they won a good many awards.

The thing that did surprise me was the number of local people who had blooms who made it to the head table,” Richardson said.

The show’s marquee award, the Don Estes Award for Best Lincoln County Bloom went to Mike and Geri Jinks of Brookhaven.

Other major awards include the Thomas H. Perkins III Award for Best Tom Perkins, a camellia variety named, like the award, after the longtime Brookhaven Camellia Society president who passed away in 2000.

That award went to Walter Creighton, from Sims, Ala.

The Mrs. Hugh V. Wall Award for Best White in Show was won by Pat Hegwood of Baton Rouge, La.

Mike and Geri Jinks did well elsewhere in the show. They won the award for best tray of three different blooms grown unprotected.

Brookhaven’s Patti Perkins also entered a number of prize-winning blooms. She won for the best miniature bloom, unprotected; best large to very large hybrid; and best historic bloom.

The historic bloom category is for camellia varieties existing prior to 1900.

The best medium, unprotected bloom award went to Shirley Estes.

Marylin Jones of Bogue Chitto nabbed the award for best unprotected tray of the same three blooms in small growers category.

Bessie Smith, Brookhaven, won the unprotected, best very large bloom.

The small growers, best bloom, went home with Ernie Clark, of Brookhaven. John Paul Smith, also of Brookhaven, snagged the small growers, best tray of three different blooms category.

Smith, Clark and Lucie LeBlanc also won spots in the small growers’ court of honor.

About 50 judges traveled from out of town to participate in the show, said Richardson. He also estimated the show attracted between 300 and 350 out of town visitors.