Speech given by Wal Johnston at a special morning tea for Veronica O'Brien.
DEPARTURE OF VERONICA O’BRIEN 31 Jan 2018
And so we say farewell to another long serving member of the Supporters. As an honorary Life Member, Veronica remains a member, albeit from a distance. We know she will be keeping an eye on us through the website and Facebook.
With over 24 years as a volunteer in the Garden Veronica has been involved in the many victories and the few defeats. She has been a member of Council for a number of years. She has been involved with training newcomers. She has supervised the planting of new roses. Veronica has also promoted the Garden with talks to interested groups, including gardening clubs. This entailed hours of preparation, travelling and with no recompense. – the list goes on.
Her service to the Garden was rewarded in 2005 with her being granted Honorary Life Member.
One of her passions and an enormous benefit to our Garden was her work on the Replacement Team. She joined the team around 2007 and took over the sourcing and ordering of the replacement plants in early 2009. With strong ideas of what we need in the Garden, she has had to argue and bargain with her fellow members of the team. Dealing with some suppliers and our Council has often been frustrating, but she won through regardless.
Veronica has never been afraid to take on tasks and so she was elected to the position of President in September 2010. As any ex-President will tell you, this experience was satisfying and enjoyable. Veronica was an excellent President but I am sure that she breathed a sigh of relief when her two years were up.
She is moving to the NSW coast where she and husband Tom will be renting. She tells me she has the start of a rose garden there – one sick plant and one not too well, but already she has made contact with her friends who just happen to be rose breeders. She is assuring them that she would be able to trial their new breedings in her new garden. After all she has to do something while Tom is out playing golf.
Veronica, we wish you well in your new endeavor and hope that you will visit us when you are down this way.
Speech given by Wal Johnston at a special morning tea for Joan Broadstock.
JOAN BROADSTOCK DEPARTURE 10 Jan 2018
Joan has decided to desert us for the cold wilds of Ballarat. She is not resigning from membership of the Garden as she has been an Honorary Life Member since 1999.
Joan, with her late husband, Len, joined as a foundation member in 1993. This means she is just shy of twenty-five years of active service.
She has been involved with just about every aspect of the Garden, working in the Tudor Rose, in the Heritage Border, and in the Bud. She was part of the teams who planned, sourced and planted the first Heritage Border, the Australian Leaf and the Bud. She has been an excellent trainer and looked after the new chums with her casual but effective manner. (Probably remembering her own time under the severe tutelage of the pioneers.)
There are many activities Joan has been involved with. For example she was on the Rose Replacement team for a while. She shared in the activity of presenting our Garden to the World Federation of Rose Societies for the Garden of Excellence Award. She was the co-ordinator for the Heritage Roses in Australia VSRG Group. She was involved with applications for grants from various organisations. The list goes on.
Joan was instrumental in arranging home visits, where members opened up their gardens for the rest of the Garden crew to come and admire. She always opened her own garden for us to visit. This practice has not been held for some time, but is not forgotten by those of us who enjoyed the visits (and the morning teas).
Joan was our very efficient Secretary for nine years. In that time, using her son’s expertise, she organized a computer generated data base which allowed us to keep the rose and personnel records up to date. For years she made sure that the system was operating and being used. She trained many people in its use.
She became our President in 2014 and we enjoyed two years under her guidance.
We wish you well, Joan, in your new endeavor and trust that you will come and visit us on a regular basis. After all, Ballarat is not that far and we will miss you.