The longest-serving volunteer guide at the Tondoon Botanical Gardens handed over to the next generation at a farewell morning tea this week, after fourteen years of showing visitors to town the glories of the gardens.
John started his career as a volunteer at Tondoon back in 2003. His departure as Senior Tour Leader doesn’t mean he is putting away his guidebook entirely – he still rides along with the GAPDL tour buses when the cruise ships are in town and as a former employee of NRG, John also guides tours through the power station.
Groups of about 12-20 people show up to the Gardens’ weekly guided tours, and they are usually accompanied by four volunteer guides: “When John told us he had decided to retire from doing the guided tours, the other volunteers have stepped up because John was so good at showing them how to do it,” Visitor Services coordinator Robyn Mulvena said.
“It’s an easy place to promote,” John said.
“A lot of people don’t think so, a busy town like Gladstone, that’s why you have to get out and tell people about the beauty of the place. You can’t wait for them to come to you.”