The Early Days 1994 - 1995 - 1996
There was no official historian for the Euroa Arboretum. Minutes of early meetings have been archived and many of the volunteers have photographs of the first few years. Here is a selection of photos taken back in the early days. All are of the 'snapshot' variety taken with film cameras - remember them - so they lack the clarity of digitals.
The Euroa Arboretum LEAP crew in front of the information bay and picnic shelter they constructed as part of the project completed on October 28, 1994.
Back row from left to right: Garrie Moore, supervisor, Linda Bennett, project coordinator, Pauline Brodie, Danny Adams, Rachel Meertens, Leigh Taig, supervisor, Christine Dodson, Sam Verrochi, Shire of Euroa Building Surveyor and Lyle Jeffery, Shire Engineer. Front row James McPerson, Damien Dyer, Luke Beaumont and Shane Ford.
In six months, the duration o fall LEAP projects, the crew constructed the picnic shelter, a toilet block, installed a watering system, erected a windmill, created garden beds and a car park and planted and guarded 1,000 trees.
Thereafter, the volunteers took over. As of 2006 the arboretum continues with volunteers and X paid staff.
The children's play construction had to be removed due to injury and insurance fears of children playing a long way from parental supervision.
Howard Mitchell making the stone gateway in October - November 1994 . . .
. . . and adopting the archetypal 'I bloody made this.' pose of the patient skilled craftsman: modesty and pride equally mixed!
Poor little sad looking picnic shelter close to completion. Pic taken around February '95 as raised garden beds were being installed.
Jack Frewen with a red tractor used for ripping up the hard dirt in order to plant things!
Unfortunately the red tractor became bogged one day and had to be hauled out of the mud by Des Fowler with a VERY BIG TRUCK. Taken May 1995.
John O'Neill digging at request of Shirley Saywell for the planting of grass trees in the centre garden of the car park.
The grass tree spears were brought in on a flat bed truck, probably belonging to John O'Neill.
John Furlanetto from Newnhams Earthmoving delivered rocks from Strathbogie Road cutting for use in car park garden. Pics taken around Spring 1995.
Janet Fogarty and Linda Bennett having fun with a BIG tilling machine loosening up the hard packed ground near the picnic shelter for planting. Janet Fogarty has been a staunch and valued contributor to the Arboretum from its inception. Pic taken around October 1995.
Work starts on the seed production area probably around 1996.
The first plant 'hangar' has its framework up. The bent gate has since been replaced.
The fellow handling the shovel almost too big for him is Frank Pierce, one of the early stalwarts.
Drilling rectangular holes with a chainsaw is not job for the inexperienced!
On October 13 1996 the Lions Club put up the red gum post-and-rail fence at the entrance to the Arboretum. Frank Something has contributed on and off over the years.
The importance of informal conferencing by supporters and contributors cannot be underestimated. Ray Purdies, Julie Strudwick, Ron Harrigan and Janet Fogarty plot a coup at Ray and Rose Purdies's property in the Warby Ranges on July 31 1996. The coup was abandoned when they realised that if it succeeded they'd have to do all the work!
It's still a little on the bare side but the picnic shelter gardens are beginning to soften and green the scene.
Labelling of plants is an ongoing problem.
There are technical difficulties in creating affordable signs that will last a long time and resist random vandalism.
Eventually the BIG DAY came on October 26, 1996 when enough of the fencing and gardens and shelter and toilet block was established to hold an official launch. The chosen dignitary was
Attending the event was a well known local garden pixie who has been 'hanging around' the Arboretum and making a small contribution for about 25 years . . .
for those who may not know the pixie is Shirley Saywell!
Ron Harrigan made a contribution to the Arboretum in those early years and is here pictured with his grandson and an old wooden ladder . . . .
Work continues on the first local plants 'hangar' in the nursery area.
Not bad for an arty shot with a point and click camera!
The windmill . . . why?
The bereft dam!