Dulux Group commits to giving the Lae Botanic Gardens a shiny new coat

Lae, Morobe Province, PNG, 26th November, 2015 – Dulux Group PNG is the latest Lae business house to commit significant support to the Lae National Botanic Gardens Advancement Program, pledging ongoing support in the form of cleaning and re-painting many of the structures placed throughout the gardens. With work already commenced, the difference is obvious; you may have glimpsed picnic shelters as you drive past the gardens, shining like new after a team of five Dulux painters have been hard at it, cleaning and giving them a fresh coat of paint.

Dulux Group Business Development Manager, Stuart Waters recently arrived in Lae to take over from Darren Higson, who kindly initiated Dulux’s partnership with the Gardens in July. Having recently toured the gardens to see the great work done by his team to date, Stuart was inspired by the progress remarking, ‘I am thrilled that Dulux is supporting such a worthy program. It is the responsibility of businesses to give something back to the local community and to be able to contribute to the re-opening of these gardens for the people of Lae is one of the best ways to show our support. These gardens are really something special that ought to be shared.’

Dulux will be continuing their work in the gardens and are interested in being a long-term partner of the Lae National Botanic Gardens Advancement Program. They will be giving most structures a good clean and fresh coat of paint including two more picnic shelters, the gate shelter and guardhouse at the Milford Haven Road entrance and the roof and brickwork of the newly repaired toilet block. They will also be providing paint and labour to repaint the newly washed down RAAF DC-3 plane which will be coordinated in partnership with the RAAF DC-3 Steering Committee. Much of this work was completed prior to the Gardens Open Day on Friday 6th November with some scheduled in the coming weeks.

Dr. Martin Golman, Acting Director of the PNG Forest Research Institute stated ‘this contribution from Dulux Group feels like the icing on the big cake of business support the Gardens have received to date, with our tired old structures looking almost like new again, just in time for our successful Open Day! We are humbled by the continued support the Advancement Program has received and thank Dulux for their generous contribution. We invite the businesses and the public to get in touch and book events in the gardens over the busy Christmas period, it’s the perfect place to celebrate a year of hard work!’

About Dulux Group: DuluxGroup’s PNG headquarters are in Lae, where it has manufactured paint and chemicals for over 40 years. It employs about 100 people between Lae and Port Moresby, and has trade depots in Kimbe, Kokopo and Madang. Seventy percent of DuluxGroup’s coatings products are made in PNG.

Above: The Dulux team of painters hard at work re-painting a picnic shelter in the gardens. From L-R: Moses Simon, Felix Jack, Mallie Sete, John Micky and Jerry Daniel
Above: The Dulux team of painters hard at work re-painting a picnic shelter in the gardens.
From L-R: Moses Simon, Felix Jack, Mallie Sete, John Micky and Jerry Daniel

A Successful Open Day and Bright Future for the Lae National Botanic Gardens

Lae, Morobe Province, PNG, 6th November, 2015 – After being closed to the public for over a decade, with a great deal of satisfaction and appreciation for all involved, the gates of the Lae National Botanic Gardens were officially re-opened to the public on Friday by the Hon Loujaya Kouza MP.

After eight months of combined efforts to revive the gardens under the Lae National Botanic Gardens Advancement Program, on Friday 6th November, 2015, PNGs Forest Research Institute, the Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens and many generous business houses united to celebrate this moment whereby the gardens were reopened and viewed by many excited stakeholders, media and members of the public.

This day marked a key milestone of the Advancement Program and the Lae Botanic Gardens Master Plan. It was a day to celebrate and thank those involved for their efforts, showcase the much-improved gardens and to appreciate the 24 business houses that together, have contributed more than 500,000 Kina of equipment, labour, expertise and machinery hire towards the Program since it began. It is a true testament to what can be achieved when a community bands together for the good of the Region. The community now has ongoing access to one of its’ most important and valued assets again.

The day began at 10 am with more than 50 invited guests in attendance at the FRI headquarters. Together they reflected on the Program and celebrated its achievements to date. Key speakers included;

 

  • Acting Director of the PNG Forest Research Institute, Dr. Martin Golman;
  • Chemcare Founder and long time Lae Resident, Mr. Kerry King;
  • Program Manager, Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens, Sarah-Jane Warne;
  • Key Sponsor and Program Initiator, Swire Shipping’s representative, Yvonne Suat;
  • Unitech’s Vincent Koddy;
  • Lae MP, Loujaya Kouza;
  • PNG Forest Authority’s, Tunou Sabuin
  • PNG Forest Authority’s Robby Lovae
  • Provincial Assembly’s Nellie McLay

 

Speeches were followed by a ceremony whereby Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to program leaders including PNG FRI’s Michael Lovave and Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens’ Sarah Warne and Mia Cusack, and the 24 business houses who had contributed to essential Program needs – from the supply of essential infrastructure to enhancing the capacity of the Grounds People to sustain the operations of the Botanic Gardens.

Guests were then escorted on a walking tour through the gardens to the southern precinct while viewing all the newly revived areas and infrastructure. Nearby the newly cleaned RAAF DC-3 plane, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place to officially open the Gardens to the public.

The Rotary Club of Lae, Andersons Foodland and Gala Ice Cream provided lunch and refreshments and from 1-4pm the gates were also open to any members of the public wishing to view the gardens.

Dr. Martin Golman, Acting Director of the PNG Forest Research Institute was thrilled with the event stating, words can’t do justice to what you see here today at the Gardens, the efforts of so many people, and the generosity of so many businesses in Lae, the hard work and determination of the people and organisations driving the National Botanic Gardens Advancement Program, friends, media, advocates and interested public. All of you have made this day possible in some way and the Forest Research Institute and the people of Lae are indebted to you all for your support. There is a bright future ahead for these gardens as a place of education, research and recreation which was made possible by this community, for this community, we can’t thank you enough.
The PNG Forest Authority and Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens would like to thank all sponsors who have contributed to the Lae National Botanic Advancement Program to get to this point.

  • For ongoing logistical and communications support: Swire Shipping, Lae Chamber of Commerce and The PNG University of Technology.
  • For the innovative designs of five conceptual gardens for the Northern Precinct: Swire Shipping and Garden City Design Co.
  • For infrastructure development within the gardens: Dekenai Constructions, Northbuild PNG, Dulux Group, PNG Forest Products and Consort Express.
  • For capacity enhancement: Bishops, Brian Bell Homecentres, Boroko Motors, Ela Motors, Farmset Limited, Hila Holdings, Lae Builders and KK Kingston.
  • For hands on participation in the gardens: Nestle and Laga Industries.
  • For communications and signage support: Lae Chamber of Commerce, CTL Signs and Rob McIntyre Web Design.
  • For event support: Rotary Club of Lae and Andersons Foodland.

The National Botanic Gardens Advancement Program is far from over, and is always looking for more sponsors, volunteers and interested organisations to assist in bringing these gardens back to life. If you would like to get involved, please contact Michael Lovave on email: mlovave@fri.pngfa.gov.pg or phone: 472 1041 or 472 4188.

 

Above: Guests take a tour through the gardens, seen here walking over the newly built bridge with materials donated by PNG Forest Products and Swire Shipping and construction undertaken by Dekenai Constructions.
Above: Guests take a tour through the gardens, seen here walking over the newly built bridge with materials donated by PNG Forest Products and Swire Shipping and construction undertaken by Dekenai Constructions.

 

Above: After the cutting of the ribbon to open the gardens. From L-R: Dr. Martin Golman (FRI), Loujaya Kouza (Lae MP), Tunou Sabuin (PNG Forest Authority), Gardens Curator Michael Lovave (FRI).
Above: After the cutting of the ribbon to open the gardens. From L-R: Dr. Martin Golman (FRI), Loujaya Kouza (Lae MP), Tunou Sabuin (PNG Forest Authority), Gardens Curator Michael Lovave (FRI).

Five new world class gardens designed for Lae Botanic Gardens

Lae, Morobe Province, PNG, 23rd October, 2015 – that will help to restore the gardens to their former glory and transform the Northern precinct into an incredible botanical experience for visitors; with the beauty and diversity of PNG culture and plant life at its heart.

These designs were made possible by a generous donation from Swire Shipping who have long supported the Program. PNG’s Forest Research Institute in partnership with Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens are now calling out to all major sponsors to help enable each garden design become a reality.

Working together as a community to bring these designs to life will put the Lae Botanic Gardens back on the map as one of PNG’s top tourist destinations and may well reinstate Lae as the beautiful ‘Garden City’ of PNG.

Engaged by Swire Shipping, award winning Cairns-based Garden City Design Co. were responsible for these garden creations. Already familiar with Lae having worked on the beautiful Lae War Cemetery that neighbours the Gardens, the design concepts incorporated feedback from key stakeholders and showcased much of PNG’s spectacular and diverse flora, adding significant educational, recreational and tourist appeal to the gardens.

The designs include a Heliconia Garden, Ginger Garden, Food, Fibre and Health Garden and Foliage Garden spread throughout the Northern section and connected via pathways with archways and creeping plants that meander around existing picnic areas, mumu pits, the creek, staircase and islands. There is even a fun design for a children’s maze to complement the existing BSP playground area. The designs offer a glimpse of a natural wonderland full of colour, texture and structure that would take the visitor on a journey through PNG’s unique and complex environment.

Key supporters and stakeholders of the Lae Botanic Gardens met today to see the designs revealed, Graeme Davis from Swire Shipping remarked ‘it is a proud moment to see these designs presented today. Swire Shipping is committed to a better future for the gardens so that they again become an important part of the Lae community, and a significant achievement for PNG. These designs give us all an enticing preview of the potential that Swire has always seen in the gardens and we hope other businesses will show their support by helping the Forest Research Institute build them.’

The National Botanic Gardens Advancement Program is inviting businesses to come on board to help create these gardens with naming rights for each garden forming part of each sponsorship package. Dr. Martin Golman, Acting Director of the PNG Forest Research Institute stated ‘we will need help to make these gardens a reality, these designs offer a new level of sophistication for the National Botanic Gardens and we are so excited to get to this stage with the help of Swire Shipping. I urge businesses and organisations to view the plans so you can see for yourself how transformative they could be; it would be a wonderful gift to future generations, our city and visitors to have them built.’

The Lae community will have an opportunity to see the garden design concepts and all the progress that has been made in the gardens when we open the gardens to the public for our upcoming Open Day on Friday 6th November. All are welcome with free entry between 1pm and 4pm.

 

Above: The Foliage Garden to revitalise the stairway to the top area of the Gardens.
Above: The Foliage Garden to revitalise the stairway to the top area of the Gardens.

 

Above: Garden City Design Co. Master Plan showing the Heliconia, Ginger and Food Fibre and Health Gardens and the Childrens Maze.
Above: Garden City Design Co. Master Plan showing the Heliconia, Ginger and Food Fibre and Health Gardens and the Childrens Maze.