Helping hands needed

Long serving volunteer Des Whitby is looking for some help.
Long serving volunteer Des Whitby is looking for some help.

Des Whitby has looked after the village gardens at Pambula for almost 30 years and while he loves the gardens, he would also love a little help with the regular watering and "a bit of weeding". This week is National Volunteer Week and so the call out is a timely one for some extra helping hands.

The gardens in and around the roundabout at Pambula are a much-loved feature of the town and it is thanks to Des Whitby that the gardens are there in the first place and also that they have continued to be an admired feature of the village.

"When the roundabout went in 28 years ago it was all going to be concrete and I pushed for some gardens," he said.

He laughs that he made a rod for his own back but has always been a keen gardener. In January 2019 Mr Whitby was recognised for his work and named Bega Valley Australia Day Senior Citizen of the Year.

He decided to ask if anyone was willing to sponsor the gardens and after getting 12 replies was able to fund the regular supply of plants needed to beautify the area and have three gardens on each of the four corners.

"Most of the sponsors have been there for the whole 28 years," Mr Whitby said.

"We do the roundabout three or four times a year and that takes 500 seedlings."

He is a well-known figure in the village and admits that watering the gardens can take quite a while because be knows so many people who like to stop and chat.

"I've even had people talking to me from their cars when I've been working on the roundabout. And then they have to go around again to finish the conversation," he said with a laugh.

For 24 years Mr Whitby had his sister Jackie, to help him with the gardens but sadly three years ago she passed away.

Now Mr Whitby would like some more help to manage the regular watering and a bit of weeding of the three gardens at each corner.

"After 28 years of looking after the Street Gardens in Pambula, I realise I'm not as young or as fit as I used to be and I am looking for some extra help to ease my workload," Mr Whitby said.

"It's really about one hour a week to water and weed each corner. If we could get four people that would be ideal to help spread the workload," he said.

He has help from Dean Geekie and Rudy Van Landagen in trimming the hedges but said he would have loved more help from others when he was watering regularly during the drought.

So if you feel you can help out, give Des Whitby a call on 6495 6148.