Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 09-09-2014 Contents Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 4
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Floriade a beautiful place to pitch in
FLOWER POWER COUPLE
Pat and Doug Dart of Scullin are regular volunteers at Floriade. They are just two of the 200 volunteers for the
event this year.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Every year, Floriade hosts up to
35,000 visitors each day at the flower
festival, a feat which organisers say
could not be achieved without the
assistance of close to 200 volunteers.
Volunteer roles range from
welcoming the sightseers to
administration, and for the past eight
years, Pat and Doug Dart have had
experience across the board.
Celebrating 50 years of marriage
last year, the couple decided to
volunteer with Floriade following their
retirement in 2006.
"In my life I've volunteered a lot,
and Floriade is such a nice place
because you meet nice people, you
have beautiful scenery. We could pick
which days we wanted to come, so it
fitted in with our lifestyle,'' Pat said.
Originally, the pair were both
involved with the meet-and-greet
aspect of the event, however declining
health has had an effect on Pat, who
has moved to an office role.
"In the last couple of years, I've
been lucky enough to get
administrative work . . . Plus, after a
few health things and all that, I'm still
able to contribute, but in a different
way now," Pat said.
Doug enjoys getting out and about
among the crowds, and he loves the
experience of seeing the blooms, and
how the gardeners tend to them.
"It's just a break from what I
normally do in retirement. People love
it. You meet people from all over
Australia that come here in that
period," Doug said.
At the conclusion of Floriade, avid
gardener Doug enjoys the bulb dig,
and said over the years he's probably
accrued about 100 varieties of them.
"I'm running out of space, and I've
got lots of native plants. I prefer to
grow things I can cook with as well.
I'll take some tulip bulbs, but they
never turn out like (Floriade head
The Dart's said they volunteer to
give back to the community that had
given so much to them.
"I think everybody should think
about what the community has done
for them. For me, I wanted to give
something back," Pat said.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT
Canberra Museum and Gallery
and ACT Historic Places director
1.Canberra is a relatively young
city that values innovation. It is
ready to give new ideas a go. Even if
these ideas don't blossom
immediately, we have shown that we
have the courage to stick with them
until they succeed. I am thinking here
of our fantastic Arboretum, and the
Enlighten festival, together with the
brave ideas we are contemplating to
improve our city's transport system,
and develop a new theatre.
2.It is a haven for creative activity.
I discover the work of Canberra
artists in public spaces and galleries
all over Australia. Our Canberra-
educated entrepreneurs are no less
successful, though equally modest.
The examples of local start-ups in
Peter Dawson's recent book, Creative
Canberra, are inspiring.
3.The quality of our public debate
and the regular access we enjoy
to our politicians, via newspapers,
radio and social media is richer here
than anywhere else I have
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