Barb bids plant sale farewell

After more than a decade organising Lifeline Gippsland’s bi-annual plant sale and nursery, Barb Sibly has gracefully retired.

Since 2005, Mrs Sibly has donated her time to the crisis support organisation in an attempt to raise much needed funds for the Morwell branch.

It’s been a labour of love for Mrs Sibly who described her time behind the program as a “very fulfilling experience”.

“I’m now 70 and I need to get into my jungle garden because I can’t get through it because of all the pots,” Mrs Sibly said.

“My husband, Dick, would like his lawn back,” she joked.

For about four-and-a-half years Mrs Sibly rose at the crack of dawn to set up and run a stall at Traralgon’s Royal Exchange Hotel Cork Club Craft Market.

“Over that time we raised more than $30,000 for Lifeline Gippsland,” Mrs Sibly said.

“I often had my family, including my husband and kids and their partners, help set up on a monthly basis.”

Mrs Sibly also headed the bi-annual plant sales at Lifeline Gippsland, originally supplying the plants for the organisation‘s first plant sale 12 years ago.

“My mum started me off gardening when we were on the farm at Carrajung, she used get plants and seeds by mail order regularly,” Mrs Sibly said.

“I guess that’s where my love of gardening comes from, I love watching the garden grow.

“Perennials are my favourite because they just keep on growing and you can divide them regularly.”

Mrs Sibly encouraged people to volunteer at organisations such as Lifeline Gippsland.

“If you have a bit of spare time, be a kind person and help the community out a little bit,” she said.

Lifeline Gippsland acting chief executive David Rohde said Mrs Sibly had made a valuable contribution to the organisation with money raised directed towards funding the region’s 24 hour crisis support telephone line.

“We acknowledge the fantastic work Barb’s done and it’s going to be a massive gap to fill, it really is hard to find dedicated volunteers and hard workers like her,” Mr Rohde said.

“Barb has worked tirelessly to supply plants to other Lifeline shops across Gippsland too and has made such an important contribution in keeping our organisation alive.”

On Friday, Mrs Sibly finished her service with Lifeline Gippsland with her final plant sale at the Fleming Street, Morwell warehouse.

While the total amount raised was yet to be confirmed, Mrs Sibly said more than $2500 had been raised from the recent plant sale.