Labour of love for memorial volunteers
By RACHEL SCOLLAY
THERE's an awful lot of grass at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome - enough to keep local retiree Ken Hardy busy for four days every time he slashes the runways.
The Richmond Valley Council provides the mower and fuel, but it's a labour of love for Ken with the job coming round every couple of weeks during the summer months when the ultralights are landing and the grass is growing thick and fast.
Meanwhile Ken's wife Hilda lovingly tends the aerodrome memorial garden which is the site of an annual Anzac Day service.
She said she's discovered through trial and error which plants the wallabies don't eat.
The Hardy's took the garden on in 1999 after hearing of its neglect at a dinner for ex-servicemen and women who served at the aerodrome during the war.
"They were having their photos taken with it and there were dead shrubs everywhere," said Hilda who spent a lot of time at the aerodrome as a child because it was where her father worked.
Meanwhile Ken had two uncles who both flew and died in New Guinea during the war.
"We just wanted to do it", said Ken.
"We loved doing it and making it look respectable."