Memories of Erin sitting well: botanic gardens bench dedicated to late wife

IN LOVING MEMORY: Darryl Curran purchased and dedicated a bench seat at the Orange Botanic Gardens to his late wife Erin. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

IN LOVING MEMORY: Darryl Curran purchased and dedicated a bench seat at the Orange Botanic Gardens to his late wife Erin. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

DARRYL Curran remembers his wife as a strong, beautiful woman who fought hard until the end of her life and he wants her to be an inspiration for their young daughter and for the community. 

Erin Curran died one year ago from cancer, which was misdiagnosed five years earlier.

“We discovered it during her 20 week ultrasound and it was misdiagnosed which was a blessing because it meant she could go ahead with a normal pregnancy,” Mr Curran said.

Their daughter Amelie was born and Mrs Curran entered the fight for her life and lost.

But Mr Curran decided to honour her memory with a bench seat and a magnolia tree dedicated to her at the Orange Botanic Gardens, and he wanted to speak publicly about the life she led and the memories she left. 

“[I loved] her fighting spirit, and how strong she was and how loving and maternal she was,” he said. 

“It was Erin’s idea to have a tree [in the botanic gardens] we could walk past but it’s a bit hard to sit down underneath a tree and I saw other benches around the park.”

Mrs Curran’s bench faces the lake and it was a favourite spot for the young family.

These days Mr Curran and Amelie visit the tree regularly and Mr Curran sits at the bench while Amelie runs around the place like the care-free child she should be. 

Mr Curran thanked Orange  councillor Neil Jones for helping him arrange the dedication. 

Council spokesperson Nick Redmond said it was a credit to the beauty and atmosphere of places like the botanic gardens and Cook Park, in the centre of town, that residents want to remember their loved ones in these special ways.

He said council received a handful of requests from residents annually who wanted to place a seat in Cook Park or the gardens.

Seats had to be a lot sturdier than normal household bench seats and be in line with the design of other nearby outdoor furniture, he said.

A seat in Cook Park can cost around $1400 while in the Gardens it can cost around $2500 and these costs are paid for by the family.

“Staff work with families to try to make sure the wording of any plaques is in keeping with a celebration of the life of a loved one. The location of any items is kept in line with the garden’s overall design and master plans,” Mr Redmond said. 

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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