Why I donate compost to the Hope Garden

I feel connected to the site of the Northern Community Hub and its Hope Garden because of the happy and interesting childhood and adolescence I spent there (1956-1970) as the son of Bela Szaday, Manager of the then Norlane Migrant Hostel.

Living now in Switzerland and being a “would be urban gardener”, I saw an opportunity to contribute to the development of that small parcel of land on the other side of the world that still means so much to me.

On a visit to Australia a couple of years ago, I went to the garden, met Polly and told her that I’d like to donate some fruit trees. She thanked me and said, “What we really need is compost!”

Those who know me in Switzerland and my own fascination with compost, smile when I tell them this story. “To donate compost fits you so well!” exclaimed my wife.

It’s heart-warming for me to be able to make this small contribution.

I wish the Hope Garden and all those who tend it much satisfaction!

Doing so, I also recognise and pay my respects to the first custodians of the land, the Wathaurong people.

Christopher Szaday

Zurich, Switzerland


Photo Captions:

1 Chris and Polly in the Hope Garden while Chris was visiting this year from Switzerland which is where he now lives

2 Chris watering in the garden at the Migrant centre

3 Chris raking at the Arunga site

4 Birds eye view of Arunga Avenue Site with original Nissan huts for new migrants to Geelong