Gympie Horticultural Society. NINE DECADES YOUNG: Betty Cockburn cuts her birthday cake at the Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society meeting in Mike and Mavis Silvers' Wolvi garden.
Photo Contributed
Gympie Horticultural Society. NINE DECADES YOUNG: Betty Cockburn cuts her birthday cake at the Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society meeting in Mike and Mavis Silvers' Wolvi garden. Photo Contributed Contributed

A tribute to Betty's legacy of flowers and friendship

AS A single, unmarried woman, Betty Cockburn started her own florist shop in Mary St on her birthday in 1969.

It was just one of many achievements the Gympie woman accomplished in her long life.

Friends have spoken in tribute to the "pioneer” and "loving soul” who was born on October 1, 1924, and passed away on July 26.

Gay Lohse worked for Miss Cockburn before buying the shop and renaming it Florist of Distinction.

Even after Miss Cockburn retired, she would help Mrs Lohse during the shop's busiest times.

"She was a pioneer,” Mrs Lohse said.

Mrs Lohse said Ms Cockburn had an "amazing faith”.

"And that shone through in everything she did,” Mrs Lohse said.

TRIBUTES: Betty Cockburn was born on October 1, 1924 and passed away on July 26, 2016.
TRIBUTES: Betty Cockburn was born on October 1, 1924 and passed away on July 26, 2016.

Annette Geurts then bought the shop from Mrs Lohse, but Miss Cockburn still came in to help when it was needed.

"Betty is the most genuine, unbiased, Christian, beautiful, generous, loving soul you could meet,” Mrs Geurts said.

Lesley Notley first met Miss Cockburn when they both worked in the office at the Gympie butter factory.

"She never, ever said a bad word about anybody,” Mrs Notley said.

Miss Cockburn was involved with the Gympie Horticultural Society, Gympie Probus, the Horticultural Society, the Chelsea Flower Show and the Gympie Eisteddfod, and would teach floral art to anybody who wanted to learn.

Miss Cockburn lived in Lawrence St in Gympie all her life until she moved into Cooinda Aged Care.

She attended Gympie Central State School, then Gympie State High School.

She first worked as a secretary for the Widgee Shire Council, then as a secretary in the Gympie butter factory before starting Betty Cockburn - Florist.

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