PLAQUE HONOURS TREES
THE man who planted the jacaranda trees that line the entrance to St George Hospital has been honoured with a special morning tea and commemoration plaque.
Ron Schoenfisch never imagined the plants he nurtured from seedlings in the mid 1970s would grow to become an icon of the community.
“In 1975 the new hospital was set to open, I had a hobby nursery and was asked to join the hospital’s landscaping committee,” Mr Schoenfisch said.
“Jacaranda trees were suggested, as they are very popular in St George because they are so beautiful and I went about gathering seeds from around town.
“I planted and grew them in a pot until they were big enough to be planted a few months later in the spot they still stand in today.
“I also set-up a watering system and in winter I would cover them until they were strong enough to withstand the frost.”
The brilliant, purple trees are now a drawcard for visitors and locals alike seeking a picturesque location for a glamorous photo shoot or a scenic selfie.
“Young people from schools get photos amongst the trees during formal time and it’s become quite a highlight for tourists too.
“They are flowering at this time of year, which makes it the best time to see them and everybody loves a jacaranda tree.”
Mr Schoenfisch said he never expected any accolades for his contribution to the St George Hospital grounds.
“I just did it because it was something that needed to be done, I really enjoy the jacaranda trees and it’s a nice memory for my family.
St George Director of Nursing Patrice Robinson said Mr Schoenfisch’s legacy was very special to the community.
“Mr Schoenfisch has created a stunning environment admired by all who visit the hospital,” she said.
“Volunteering to help his local hospital has had such a long-lasting impact and it’s a wonderful example of what helping your community can achieve.
“Although he has never asked to be acknowledged, I thank Mr Schoenfisch for his work and hope the jacaranda trees continue to blossom for many generations to come.”
The plaque acknowledging Ron Schoenfisch is located at the front of the St George Hospital Avenue of jacarandas.
BLOOMING: St George Director of Nursing Patrice Robinson with Ron Schoenfisch and his wife Beryl Schoenfisch.