Remembering Viv Kershaw

Vale Vivian Kershaw , 4th October 1947- 10th October 2016

It is with great sadness that we share news of the death of our friend and fellow gardener, Viv Kershaw.

It was difficult for most to know how ill she was as her cheerful manner and her enthusiasm to be involved in everything related to the Community Garden continued to the end.

The Ocean Grove Community Garden began in March 2010 at a public meeting where the first Garden Management Committee was formed. Vivian Kershaw was a founding committee member and was pivotal in the early phases of Garden development. As Deputy Chair and then Secretary she coordinated the committee as they established the initial supportive relationship with the Ocean Grove Neighbourhood Centre, negotiated with the City of Greater Geelong for access to and lease of the site, and held public consultation meetings during 2011 to create a concept plan for the Garden.

Viv also worked closely with Peter Gumley, the first President of the Garden, to write grant applications which saw the Garden receive significant funding from the Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development and the City of Greater Geelong, as well as Ocean Grove Community Enterprise. This allowed the Garden to develop rapidly from 2012 onwards as it had the funds to build all the supporting infrastructure, buildings, plots etc.

Viv was always a key presence at public events in the Ocean Grove, letting our community know about the Garden, sharing her enthusiasm for and knowledge about gardening, and slowly building the membership base from the initial 6-person committee in 2010 to the thriving gardening community that we now have.

Viv remained Secretary for the Garden until 2013, and after leaving that role continued to work in and support the Garden. Viv also began sharing her skills and knowledge via her monthly Garden notes on our website, which have been widely used and again were responsible for growing our local gardening community. It was also her research that led us to set up the wicking boxes in the greenhouse, she trialed them and happily provided workshops to demonstrate how to make and use them.

Viv has been a guiding presence in the Garden since its inception and her friendly and welcoming presence, her skills and knowledge, and the wonderful produce she shared with members and with our community via the Garden stall at the Bellarine Community Farmer’s market will be sorely missed.

Flowers gathered from the Community Garden for Viv's memorial service

Flowers gathered from the Community Garden for Viv’s memorial service