May 2017 – Rob Leslie
Two Good Reasons to Join the Friends of the Farm
Rob Leslie had two good reasons to join the Friends of the Farm: his wife Lynn was already a volunteer and his next door neighbour is Polly McColl – a long-time Friends’ volunteer and past president. One might presume that Lynn and Polly may have “applied a bit of gentle pressure” to convince Rob to join their ranks, but he is quick to dispel the notion. “With Lynn involved and Polly in need of volunteers, it was natural for me to sign up. I was glad to help.”
And Rob has been a big help as part of the behind-the-scenes set-up team. It’s a group of volunteers who handle a lot of the heavy work – lifting, carrying, assembling – and was a good fit when he joined the Friends in 2013 as most events take place on the weekend and Rob was still working full-time. He retired in January 2016 after 30 years with the Department of National Defence where he was responsible for chartering ships for the military and moving equipment.
Rob’s job description for the Friends is very simple: “Essentially we help Polly with whatever needs to be done to get ready for an event.” He’s a regular at the annual book drop off and also helps to set up and organize the tables the night before the sale. He’s also one of the helping hands at the Victorian Tea and Rare and Unusual Plant Sale and has been seconded several times to post event signs around the Farm. While the team has changed over time, Rob remains a constant. For him, the motivation is simple: “It feels good to help out and I enjoy meeting people.”
Mary Ann Smythe, May 2017. Photo by Polly McColl.