A 'QUIRKY but fabulous' memorial garden in honour of the much-loved former Parkes Early Childhood Centre (PECC) director Lindy Farrant was unveiled on Sunday, and she shined down from above, bathing all the attendees in glorious sunshine.
Lindy's husband Bill Jayet opened the garden at PECC, and paid an emotional tribute to his late wife, who was a crucial cog in moulding the childcare centre into what it is today.
"As a family we miss Lindy so much. Not a day passes that she is not in our thoughts," he said on Sunday morning.
"Lindy, along with Parkes Shire mayor Ken Keith and fellow PECC patron Rosemary Morris, worked for many years, probably a decade, before successfully securing state and federal funding.
It was a case of from little things, big things grow when it came to the garden, as Bill explained.
"Shortly after Lindy's death, her mum Lola said to me that she wanted to donate a tree with a small plaque to PECC in memory of her beloved daughter.
"Through consultation with Colette (PECC director), this idea grew and today we unveil what I see as a somewhat quirky, but fabulous, tribute to Miss Lindy.
"I knew we were on a winner after we seconded three of our Shire's leading artists in Elsie Mahon, Pol Cruz and Deb Jones to design and produce the artefacts for the garden," Bill said.
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Those three artists have created something that words can't even describe; it's a garden of colour, native plants, love, memory, quirky handmade artefacts and most of all, joy.
Bill said he could not be more pleased with what the trio had accomplished.
"We are absolutely delighted with what you have produced...once again the generosity of the Parkes community has been on display and our heartfelt family thanks go to all who were responsible for making Lindy's garden a reality," he said.
PECC's current director, Collette Genet-Marks, echoed Bill's sentiments when it came to the joy that the tribute can evoke.
"Lindy adored enchanting natural landscapes and artistic and colourful spaces, and this garden is a melding of all these elements, with a child-like sense of fun," she said.
"It will remind us of the power that can come from the planting of a small seed and the joy of watching that seed grow and blossom.
Colette said the garden would be treasured by not only the students and staff of PECC, but the entire community.
"What Lindy has sown in our community, we will all continue to reap.
"Although Lindy cannot personally experience this garden, I truly believe in spirit Lindy will always be amongst us, continuing to support, guide, treasure and celebrate all that we are and all that we do," said Colette.
Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions, many family and friends were not able be there, though through Facetime, they were still able to experience the wonderful occasion alongside all those who attended and dutifully observed social distancing protocols.
Perhaps the most poignant part of Bill's speech came in the form of an ancient Chinese proverb: 'He who plants a garden, plants happiness.'
May every child and adult who visits the garden feel the happiness and joy that radiated from one of the community's brightest lights.
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