VALE: Industry Icons
Sadly, July has seen the passing of a number of industry greats.
John Greenwood, Suzanne Swane and Barry Teese have all, in their specialist areas and unique ways, largely contributed to the growth and promotion of the industry, and it is with great regret we share the news of their passing.
Greenlife Industry Australia directors, staff and Members share their condolences with the families and friends of John, Suzanne and Barry and acknowledge their contribution to our greenlife community.
There would be very few people that had had the longevity in the horticultural trade as John and none that have had the wide experiences domestically and internationally that John did.
John joined the industry working for Fergusons Nurseries. He spent several years as a Jackaroo in western NSW as well as time on the north coast of NSW growing avocados. On his return to Sydney John joined Lanes Chemicals as the Product Manager for the commercial range.
When Ritegro took over Lanes, John took on the role of Commercial Manager of Ritegro specialising in plastic pot manufacture and distribution. John continued in this role when Yates took over 1986 and continued in the commercial area of Yates until 2003 when he joined Bodger Flower Seeds out of California as their Oceania Sales Manager. When Bodger Seeds was sold to Benary Seeds out of Germany, Johncarried on as the Regional Sales Manager until his retirement in around 2017.
John, who was considered a unique character and a gentleman, passed peacefully on Thursday 2 July.
Suzanne is the loving and adored wife of 66 years of the late industry Life Member, Edgar Norman (Ben) Swane AM. She was always an incredible support and essential figure in enabling Ben to perform his many horticultural activities as well as a passionate plantperson in her own right.
Suzanne passed quietly on Wednesday 15 July and her memory is cherished by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who have held a private family ceremony in her honour.
Barry’s instructions to his staff at The Greenery Garden Centre, Heidelberg, VIC were ‘Business as usual’, which is not surprising given his passion and commitment to our industry.
Barry and his brother Daryl had a number of businesses with operations at The Greenery starting in 1977. They were inaugural members of the Retail Nurserymen’s Cooperative, and current members of both GCA and NGIV. Barry was an expert in garden centre marketing, innovation and promotion. He was also a passionate plantperson and these strengths are evidenced by the multiple state and national industry awards presented to them and Awards for their outstanding displays at MIFGS.
Barry who had fought a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer passed on Thursday 16 July. Leigh Siebler who visited Barry recently noted that he remained positive and had already ordered stock for Spring. His last words to Leigh were: “Spring will be excellent this year, we are ready for a big one”. Please read Leigh Siebler’s tribute to Barry here .