Remembering Frank Charles Hart

Born on the 7 th June 1933, Frank Hart passed away peacefully on the 10 th June 2017 after a tough 18 month battle with cancer. Frank is survived by his loving wife Margaret, three sons, Steven, Kerrie and Russell, ten Grandchildren and seventeen Great Grandchildren. Frank will be remembered not only as a hard worker and a solid family man, but for his quick wit and cheeky love of fun, and also someone quick to share his wisdom and knowledge with family, friends and colleagues.

Frank developed his strong work ethic growing up on farms in the Gatton and Wamuran areas before spending time in Sandgate where he developed his love for fishing, tennis, swimming and cycling. Pocket money came from selling papers at Sandgate railway station and also the local American army base where he acquired his fondness for bacon and eggs, a breakfast staple that he had almost everyday day of his life. The family moved to Sunnybank, a suburb south of Brisbane in 1946 and E C Hart and Sons was established with his brother Roy and father Charlie, growing and selling flowers for the florist trade before expanding the business around Charlie Harts love of exotic plants.

Frank was the driving force behind the growth of Harts Nursery, and after the retirement of his father Charlie, he purchased a three acre site in the small crop farming area of Rochedale with his wife Margaret and relocated the business in 1973. Frank oversaw this development, hand mixing concrete for growing areas and pathways, erecting shade and glass houses, while still delivering nursery stock in the early hours of the morning. The business soon outgrew the site and the adjoining seven and a half acre property was acquired in 1979 to expand production and supply irrigation. Many business lessons were learnt from the many development opportunities and setbacks along the way with Frank ensuring the future of Harts Nursery through diversification in production, excellence in service and quality, and the development of lasting trading relationships.

1986 saw the purchase of a nearby six and a half acres where further irrigation reserves could be sourced for the nursery. Frank could not see the value in the regular mowing of a vacant site so a town planner was engaged to ensure a nursery design for the whole site was accepted by local authorities. In 1987 nursery construction commenced and soon this entire site was also fully developed and in full production.

Frank and Margaret Hart were strong industry supporters with membership of the industry association, participation in the industry accreditation program, and regularly participating and supporting industry events. In 1987 Frank was extremely humbled to be awarded NGIQ ‘Nurseryman of the Year’.

Harts Nursery has again relocated business operations and is currently operating from new facilities at Guanaba Creek as the Rochedale site is redeveloped for housing.

“Thank you, Frank”, a personal message from Barry and Bruce Naylor

Frank Hart is a legend of the nursery industry in Queensland.

I can still recall going on deliveries with Dad in the 1970s. Most owners did their own early morning deliveries back then and they would end up at a place called Fruitex near the Brisbane Markets. This is where Woolworths handled nursery product distribution. It is here I first met Frank Hart.

Growing up in the industry, it did not take long to work out the calibre of nurseryman Frank was. He was at the top of the game.

It is worth remembering that people who set the bar up high, provide inspiration for those who come afterward. To Frank, we say thank you for being you, and setting that bar so high, and providing an example for all of us that followed.

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