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Saturday 18 July 2009

Read all about it....! Green Gym meets Royalty.

Many thanks to June & Eddie for the photographs and June for the editorial below.
Wow - and double Wow!

It went very well. We had lots of waiting time beforehand but the Gardens has put us in the Temperate House Reception area to wait so we didn't get rained upon, but we did get a tad hot!

We were wheeled out just before 11 to be corralled near to the plaque which HRH The Prince of Wales was to uncover. I tried to rebel and remove the OTT barricade, but not successfully [we are obviously a high threat to security].

To our rear the County Hall officials were corralled. Eventually when the "party" had walked up into the new gardens and passed their corral they were let loose to run up behind us to make an enormous crowd of about 50 [!!!] to witness the unveiling of the new garden and our award presentation!

The party consisted of HRH POW accompanied by Simon, followed by HRH DOC accompanied by Alan Titchmarsh and followed by dignitaries and Debs who was allowed out of Highgrove for the day and as thrilled as we were to be so honoured.

They turned the corner to face us and immediately the DOC walked up to our barricade and Lee Cooper who held the posy of wildflowers [donated by Garlic Farm, picked by Colin and made pretty by June] and he performed his role to perfection.

He stood to attention and said, "Happy Birthday Mam", he then bowed from the neck and presented the flowers - he was a star and did it perfectly. HRH POW was heard to say, "ah". She thanked him and shook hands. No one could have done it better, well done and thank you Lee.

HRH POW walked up and saw my enormous Welsh Flag and asked, "who's is this" - proudly I said, "mine", and he put his hand out to shake. After doing all the protocol for everyone to follow, I am sorry to say I failed, I saw his hand and instead of saying, "Your Royal Highness" accompanied by a bob, I just said, "thank you", - god what a let down after Lee's perfect performance!.

He asked about Green Gym then he shook hands with Herbie and seemed to know we had contributed to the new garden. HRH DOC followed and shook Lee's hand, then mine, then Herbie's then Maureen's [Mark's mum]. It was all over in a few seconds. Gob smacked is the word/s!

HRH DOC is so much younger and prettier and thinner than her photos depict her to be, and she seemed very shy and retiring, and to come to the Island on her birthday seemed special to us.

The Lord Lieutenant Maj. Gen. Martin White did a very flattering introduction then HRH POW whisked away the IOW Flag to reveal the plaque. Eddie's next door neighbour's daughter [following this? - it is the IOW ] then read out the citation and the POW presented the crystal brick to Mark and spoke as if GG was entirely responsible for the whole of the new garden! He then shook hands with Colin, both followed by the DOC. It seemed to go on for a while, but really was only a minute or so.

As we were behind this damn barricade there was no chance of a group photo with TRH's, which was a shame, but we had a group photo taken with the crystal brick.

We were honoured and very pleased that Patricia Partridge the Dept. Lord Lieutenant came along to support us and be with us. It was Patricia [when she presented the RCC award to GG last year ] who first suggested we apply for the QAVS. She has been a great support all the way through the process and without her we would never have even thought of going in for this.

It was to Patricia, along with Fiona White [Lord Lieutenant's wife] and Sir Guy Ackland [another Dept Lord Lieutenant] that judged the presentation that Colin and June did for the award back in the winter, without their belief in GG and their support we would never have stood a chance of being awarded this honour.

Mark and Colin were very calm and dignified [as to be expected] and did us proud. The weather could have been better but wasn't that bad, we didn't get rained upon but we need coats.

We then retired to the Griffin in Godshill and had a very welcome glass [or three in my case!] of something fortifying.

The crystal brick is quite heavy and is precious [to us anyway] but it is a group award and therefore it is "ours" therefore we shall all get the chance to "own" it for a while.

You can register your interest in taking it to show your organisation or family and it can be arranged that it is brought to you.

It cannot be insured so reasonable care needs to be taken when it goes out and about. Talk to Mark or Colin or June at Green Gym if you would like to follow this up, or ring 866459 and speak to Colin or June.

Eddie took photos, as did lots of people, and they will be on the blog and on cd for everyone to see. I will be going to CP office during the week to see what photos they have and will get copies of any that are relevant to bring to GG.

Congratulations everyone on getting this award and there is more to come, but that is for later - so, enjoy this for now until we organise our party which will include our families and lots of flags [ including my Welsh Flag - well, at least one, need the dragon/s! ].

Thank you to everyone for getting to the Gardens on time today and for making it all so easy to organise, you are all stars!


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