Geraldton gathers to honour gardening hero Stan Maley

Jake DietschGeraldton Guardian
Stan Maley.
Camera IconStan Maley. Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

A stalwart of the Geraldton community was farewelled in an emotional service last week.

Stan Maley — or to some Stan the Retic Man — was a regular gardening columnist for the Midwest Times.

He died aged 83 after a battle with brain and liver cancer on January 29.

In a series of eulogies at the Geraldton Crematorium from his children, grandchildren and friends, Mr Maley was remembered as a loving father of seven and as a kind soul to all who met him.

He was a prolific writer of poems, short stories and columns and was central to gardening projects over two decades in Geraldton.

His daughter Terri Chant said despite how busy her father was he “always had time for us” and had inspired his children with his perseverance.

“You gave me the most precious gift. You kept going,” she said.

Mr Maley — who remained “upbeat” even as he battled cancer — spearheaded a project to turn Maitland Park into a botanical garden and was instrumental in preserving the Greenough Museum and Gardens and ensuring it was locally run.

He saw the first stage of Maitland Park’s renewal complete and set up a team of locals who remain dedicated to seeing his vision through.

Despite a hard life as a farmer at times, he was remembered as a “happy man” and as someone who “always bounced back.”

Friends of Geraldton Gardens chair Irene Ghannage said Mr Maley had “touched” the lives of the group who shared his dream.

“Gardener extraordinaire, he was so passionate,” she said.

“He watered gardens all over Geraldton as the Retic Man.

“It was challenging and he never gave up. He really pushed everybody to keep at it.”

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