Tribute by Nathan Summers
It is with sadness that we mark the loss of one of our long term members of the Bushcare community. Una King, who had been one of the founding members of the Redgum Park Bushcare Group, at Bullaburra, passed away on the 27 October at the age of 93. From her childhood on a flower farm in what was then rural Miranda in the 1920’s, Una spent part of her adult life in Guildford with her family, until they moved to the mountains in the 1970’s, a move fitting in with her long term love of the bush and the Blue Mountains.
From the beginning she was always very active within her local Blue Mountains community. Una was always a strong advocate for things that needed to be done from roads, to community facilities, to the environment which she valued so importantly, a task she always did politely yet consistently.
Her community involvement included commencement of the Blue Mountains Lapidary Club, which still runs today, reflecting her love of gemstones, fossicking and the outdoors, the Bullaburra Progress Association and Community Hall, and the Bushcare program. Una had also worked at the Katoomba Hospital and Blue Mountains City Council in the 1970’s and 80’s.
In 1993, Una was a key player of a group of people that got the first Bush Regeneration TAFE course conducted in the Blue Mountains. Based at the Bullaburra Community Hall, this was taught by Eric Mahony (now Council’s Natural Area Management Program Leader, and formerly one of Council’s original Bushcare Officers). This also happened to be the beginning of Eric’s long association with the Blue Mountains.
Una was also a key player in the commencement of the Redgum Park Bushcare Group, which initially focussed on weeding as well as track work and other development of Redgum Park’s recreation facilities. The Bushcare group continues today, with new generations of members.
Another one of Una’s qualities was a good family lady who was great with kids. This is reflected in the close affectionate relations with her own children and grandchildren, and even great grandchildren, and also other people who encountered her motherly qualities in earlier years. It was also shown with the constant number of children who were part of the gem club at Bullaburra.
Una was someone who kept active right up until the end of her life, she was a great community lady and made a contribution to the Bushcare program that was subtle yet a significant part of its development.