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Remembering Robin Brown 1930 – 2014  

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Robin Brown
Robin Brown

The following is from Nelson Branch October 2014 Newsletter:

Robin Brown, a Life Member and past President of Nelson Branch, died on Sunday, September 7, aged 84.

Although Robin had not been well for several years, his influence still ran very strongly through our branch as he was the major force behind the establishment of Huangshi as our Sister City and the early development of the Chinese Garden in Nelson.

He was a capable President of Nelson Branch from 1994 – 2000 and had a major influence on the direction and success of the Branch through the generous use of his many skills and talents and always showed great enthusiasm for furthering friendship with the people of China.

Robin’s commitment to the Nelson Branch progressed naturally to participation in the work of the Society at a national level.  He attended National Conferences, initially as a branch delegate and was elected Vice President South Island in 1997 and continued in that role until 2002 when he accepted the position of National President for one year.  He was awarded a national life membership in 2006.

Always enthusiastic about travel, Robin ably led several national and local groups to China. He hosted many delegations from several parts of China, always preparing interesting itineraries and happily accompanying groups on their travels.  Those lucky enough to travel with him remember him still, with considerable affection.

Nelson branch memebers working in the Huangshi Garden, Nelson
Nelson branch members with Beverley planting ‘Robin’s Tree’ in the Huangshi Garden, Nelson

28th Sep (2014) in the Huangshi Garden, Nelson

At this time, our thoughts turned to commemorating Robin Brown’s contribution to the development of the garden.  Beverley and other family members were there, along with garden designer, Andrew Petheram, for planting a memorial tree. Isabelle Jones talked of Robin’s passion for the Nelson-Huangshi relationship and for the garden project. As we gathered around the site near the moongate, or looked on from the pavilion, Beverley and her family completed the planting of ‘Robin’s Tree’.  It is the dove tree or handkerchief tree (davideacieae), a dogwood relative, and is the centre point of that part of the garden. We will watch it come into leaf and develop its large white hanging ‘handkerchief’ flowers in the early summer.  Somebody said Robin would have been ‘chuffed’.