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18 September, 2020

Vale Ronnie Holden

Family and friends of the late Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Holden gathered at the Johnstone River Community Gardens (JRCG) recently to pay tribute to her many achievements, planting a commemorative tree and unveiling a plaque in her honour.

 As a tireless community volunteer who championed the strong linkages between community engagement, the environment and wellbeing, Ronnie was a founding member of the JRCG, planting one of the original trees in the orchard section at the Garden opening on World Environment Day, 2010. 

Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor, Mark Nolan expressed his condolences to the Holden family and noted that her passing is a loss to the entire Cassowary Coast community. “Ronnie was a much loved and admired member of our community who gave herself tirelessly as a volunteer to so many organisations,” said Mayor Nolan who noted in particular Ronnie’s annual CWA Australia Day Breakfast at Flying Fish Point and being honoured as Citizen of the Year in 1998. 

 “Vale Ronnie Holden, a Cassowary Coast Legend.” 

 Ronnie’s tree is now the ninth such memorial tree planted in the JRCG which is managed by her son, Bernard Holden who is committed to see her spirit live on through this remarkable community project. 

 “Mum was a strong believer in having a sense of community and her approach was through encouragement and empowerment,” said Bernard who is cultivating a new generation of volunteers through the establishment of community gardens across the Cassowary Coast. 

 “She was a true champion, even toward the end when she was having trouble walking mum would always put her hand up to help which was so inspiring to all who had the honour of knowing her.” 

 Surviving Ronnie is her husband Les who expressed his gratitude for the incredible memories of her life which were shared at the wake after her recent passing. 

 Johnstone River Community Gardens is open to the public daily, with group activities on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings and regularly hosts Sunday morning community picnics on the first Sunday of the month. For further information go to

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