Lae, Morobe Province, PNG, 12th October, 2015 â€“ Over the first two weekends of October, the Lae Botanic Gardens have been given a mighty makeover thanks to the hard work of more than 320 Laga Industries employees who have spent their past two Saturdays working throughout the gardens in small teams to help prepare the them for opening. Working with PNGâ€™s Forest Research Institute and Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens team, Gala Ice Cream workers have helped lean the RAAF DC- 3 Plane, existing BBQ facilities, the central creek bed as well as general cleaning up and preparing new public garden beds for each picnic area.
Joining many corporate supporters of the National Botanic Gardens (Lae) Advancement Program, Laga Industries have come on board as a strong supporter just at the right time, as the gardens gear up to host an open day for the public, scheduled for early November. Despite the heavy rain on Saturday 3 October, Laga Industries employees were out in force, working in teams and dedicating their energy to getting the gardens cleaned up and ready for the community to view.
The following Saturday, 10 October, the gardens hosted a steadfast group of approximately 20 volunteers from Laga Industries who spent a sunny afternoon washing down the treasured RAAF DC-3 plane. With expert restoration advice from Unitechâ€™s Vincent Koddy and equipment jointly supplied by Laga Industries and PNGâ€™s Forest Research Institute. The transformation of the RAAF DC-3 was dramatic and she now shines brighter than she has in many years.
Pauline Peleli who volunteered her time to clean the plane remembers visiting the gardens in her teens, â€˜I havenâ€™t been able to enter the gardens for decades! I have such fond memories of time spent here when I was younger. It is such a peaceful and beautiful place to spend time and connect with nature, it really means a lot to be here again, I am proud to be able to help get the gardens back in shape for future generations.â€™
Karen Yendetuo, HR Manager at Laga Industries stated, â€˜we were immediately interested in supporting the Gardens Advancement Program when we heard about it and to see our employees get involved with such enthusiasm has been a wonderful team building experience! Gala has a long history of supporting our communities and we know these gardens will provide such an important place for the people of Lae – including our employees and their families – to gather.â€™
Dr. Martin Golman, Acting Director of the PNG Forest Research Institute stated, â€˜Gala Ice Creamâ€™s assistance here in the gardens has achieved some incredible results and is a great example of a local business supporting its local community. We are so lucky to have their support and would like to thank them and the efforts of their hard working employees. We extend our appeal to other organisations and business houses who would like to lend a helping hand so we can all enjoy this magnificent natural environment in the heart of Lae.â€™
Laga Industries is one of Papua New Guineaâ€™s leading food manufacturers, producing popular brands such as Gala Ice Cream, Highland Meadows Vegetable Oil and Tradewinds. Laga Industies prides itself on developing a strong workforce and supporting communities and organisations throughout PNG that are helping to build a prosperous nation. Learn more: http://www.lagaindustries.com.pg/