Royal Flying Doctor Service fundraiser takes flight

REMINISCING: Sophia Colquhoun used to play in these gardens as a little girl, with her dog Stanley, enjoy the Strathmore Historic Gardens. Picture: Paul Scambler.

REMINISCING: Sophia Colquhoun used to play in these gardens as a little girl, with her dog Stanley, enjoy the Strathmore Historic Gardens. Picture: Paul Scambler.

In February 1994, Sue Gillon’s son was hit by a car after getting off a school bus. More than 22 years later, she has given back to the service that saved her sons life.

Mrs Gillon opened her Strathmore Historic Gardens to the public and more than 200 people flocked to a fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“Because so many people have been affected, when they heard we were doing this they said ‘we must come along’,” Mrs Gillon said. 

Mrs Gillon said everyone loves a good garden, but the thought of supporting the RFDS was the biggest drawcard for the visitors.

“We’ve just had so many people through because people think so much of them,” she said. 

“A lot of people have come up to me today and said they have had similar situations where they have had life saving flights down.”

Mrs Gillon was able to keep her son, Andrew’s heart beating until the ambulance arrived. He was transferred to the Launceston General Hospital and later flown to Hobart for neurological treatment. 

“I spoke to a lot of people when they thought about taking (the service) to Hobart, but it’s absolutely imperative that it stays in Launceston, because it’s equally the same distance to the islands, the North West and down to Hobart,” she said.  

Mrs Gillon said her son wasn’t expected to live. But she truly believes the most valuable thing that happened in those first few hours was the fact the family was able to quickly receive neurological treatment in Hobart.

“Because of them Andrew is here today… we got him walking again. He’s a very positive person. Four years ago he met his wife and now they’ve got a little girl.

BEAUTIFUL: The pond at Strathmore Garden. Picture: Tarlia Jordan

BEAUTIFUL: The pond at Strathmore Garden. Picture: Tarlia Jordan

“I don’t think anyone would really understand how much wonderful work they’ve done or how many lives have been saved because of them. 

Mrs Gillon said she had been planning the fundraiser for a very long time, but hadn’t got around to it until now. 

“It’s just great that we’re able to do this and return something to the RFDS,” she said.

The homestead’s 13 acres were opened for all to enjoy, along with freshly made scones, jam and cream and live music. Entry was $10 for adults and a gold coin donation for children. 

Royal  Flying Doctor Service executive officer Mary Frost said Mrs Gillon was an amazing woman. 

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