Spiritual guidance leads to gardening

Spiritual guidance leads to gardening

Member for Darling Range Tony Simpson and Byford Glades Residents Association treasurer Keith Whibley at the opening of the Byford Glades Residents Association and Community Garden.

The Byford Glades Residents Association and Community Garden was officially opened on January 14.

The garden was several years in the making and Byford Glades Residents Association treasurer Keith Whibley said it began in 2014 when his wife was diagnosed with bi-polar.

“She was in hospital for 12 months with no hope of coming out,” he said.

“With the stress of everything I accidently crushed my right hand between the car door and garage brickwork as I was reversing out.”

Mr Whibley said one of his fingers was severed and the others crushed but Royal Perth Hospital managed to save his hand.

“Despite this and even after rehabilitation I still could not do simple things like shake people’s hand,” he said.

“I wasn’t sure how I was going to build this community garden.”

Mr Whibley said in May 2015 he was at a council meeting when he was introduced to the Evangel Christian Fellowship youth group by a councillor.

“I was too embarrassed to shake the councillors hand so I gave him my left hand,” he said.

Mr Whibley said the councillor prayed for him but he did not think much of it at the time until he realised the next day he had full movement of his hand.

“I could do things that I hadn’t been able to do since the accident,” he said.

“A day later my wife was discharged from hospital.

“If it had not been for Jesus and with the help of the Evangel Christian Fellowship this community garden would not be here.

“I give all the glory to Jesus Christ who has helped me to build this garden by grace through faith.”

Mr Whibley also thanked Bendigo Bank, Peel Development Commission, the Shire of Serpentine Jarrhadale, the Stronger Communities Program and a number of other donors who helped make the community garden a reality.

Member for Darling Range Tony Simpson said he was honoured to have been part of the opening ceremony.

“Many of the new residential developments in the Glades Byford have small gardens which do not allow residents to grow many fruits and vegetables,” he said.

“A community garden within walking distance of homes will encourage many residents to grow their own nutritious produce and encourage physical activity.”

Mr Simpson said community gardens not only provided an area for produce to be grown but they enabled community members to interact and work together to build a sense of community and belonging.

“They are a place where people come together with a common purpose and it becomes a social hub,” he said.

“With new developments this is especially important as it encourages neighbours to interact and get to know their neighbours.”