Gardens volunteer given life membership

Stalwart service celebrated . . . Retiring volunteer Louise Kilby (centre) is congratulated by Dunedin Botanic Garden team leader Alan Matchett (left) and Friends of the Dunedin Botanic Garden president Sue Lambie (right) during a function last Friday. PHOTO: GILLIAN VINE

Long-serving Friends of the Dunedin Botanic Garden volunteer Louise Kilby was honoured recently with life membership and a special medal.

Friends since its inception in 1986,president Sue Lambie said, at a function to mark the retirement of Mrs Kilby and that of two other long-serving volunteers, Jan Orchard and Sally Pannell.

In 2006, when it seemed likely that the information centre would close, “Louise stepped up and took over as co-ordinator and to train and mentor volunteers, Ms Lambie said.

“I’m sure Louise had no idea what she was taking on.

The medal was a first, awarded with a life membership, and was extremely well deserved, she said.

Dunedin Botanic Garden team leader Alan Matchett described Mrs Kilby as ” an example to everyone . . . an extremely loyal and reliable person”.

Responding, Mrs Kilby said: “I just want to say to everyone thank you for your loyalty to me.”

She urged members to carry on in their roles and to enjoy what they did.

Although giving up her information centre work, she would still be seen around the garden, she said, as she planned to continue to be a volunteer in the Dunedin Botanic Garden’s propagation unit.