Gardener’s career over
BELOVED Kensington Secondary School gardener George Ballantine has retired after 43 years.
Mr Ballantine has a learning disability and joined the school originally as a 13-yearold student when it opened for children with special needs.
At age 18, he became the school gardener and an integral part of the community.
Mr Ballantine said his years as a gardener involved a lot of hard work but that changed a little when the automatic reticulation system was installed.
“I used to have to pull a trolley full of metal pipes up a hill every day to lay them on the oval for watering,” he said. “It was hard yakka but you got fit.” During his time, Mr Ballantine said he had seen a lot of staff and students come and go, but a few held a special place in his heart.
“My first headmaster in 1973, Mr Phillips, he was a good man,” he said.
“I loved having a joke with the girls in the office too. “It’s good to keep them on their toes.” For 48 years, Mr Ballantine rode his bike to school every day but was forced to stop last year due to ill health.
That ill health made him decide to hang up the gardening secateurs.