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Remembering Omar—11 November 2017

November 12, 2017

Today thirty two family and friends of Omar David Garcia Hoyos spent a day at CUE Haven to remember and celebrate his life.  They visited the memorial tree they had planted for Omar in the CUE Haven wetlands in May this year and then helped out and did some amazing remediation work on the walking tracks.

Friends and family on site today included Omar’s parents, Omar and Alba, his sister Vanessa, his brother Hernan and friends Adriana, Alex, Allyssa, Anna, Ash, Basia, Brittany, Camilo, Dominique, Georgia, Gina, Jessica, Katherine, Kava, Keagan, Lisa, Melisa, Michael, Morgan, Penny, Rizhan, Rosie, Shannon, Sonia, Sophia, Stephan and Troi.

People came and went based on their other commitments for the day, but everyone spent at least a couple of hours and some stayed all day working on the walking track, fixing up sections that had seen heavy wear and tear.

The first group arrived just after nine.

We started off with morning tea, a brief orientation to CUE Haven, the work planned for the day and a safety briefing.

We drove up to the site and went to work.

The main task was widening some sections of track that had been worn away.  This involved digging out and leveling the track surface.

Some of the side walls of the track needed to be retained, so the team cut planks to size and nailed them in place.

Another challenging task the group tackled was fixing up some steps that were eroding a bit.  This required digging out the sides of the steps and measuring carefully and cutting wood planks to create the sides.

There is also a lot of vegetation growing over the tracks after the wet spring weather and some of the group used loppers and shears to trim the bush and make the track easier for visitors to walk on.

The groups accomplished an amazing amount of work before breaking for lunch.  Some people needed to leave after lunch, but another group arrived after lunch and we continued working.  The last task to finish off the refurbished track was to put down a layer of gravel so that the track is easy to walk on and not slippery in wet weather.

The gravel is down by the cottage and a fresh group of strong volunteers loaded it into buckets to take out to the track.

They loaded the buckets onto the truck and we drove them up to as close to the track we could.  There, the buckets were unloaded and carried down to the track.

Then came the challenging job of carrying the buckets down and dumping the gravel, where it was raked into the track surface.

The empty buckets were carried back down and refilled until the new track sections were completely covered.

When the job was done, the group helped carry back all of the tools and unused timber.

The improvement in the track is amazing!

At the end of the day it was time for a well-deserved rest!

We were honored and humbled to host this wonderful day to remember Omar.  It was so nice seeing Omar’s family and friends again and meeting so many great new people.  We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.

Many thanks to Vanessa, for organising the very successful and productive day.

And a BIG thanks you to everyone who came out today to remember Omar and celebrate his life.  Plus you have all made a major contribution to CUE Haven.  We were very impressed with your enthusiasm, creativity and eagerness to get involved. The track improvements you made today will be appreciated and enjoyed the many visitors over the years as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.  We hope you will all come back to see us again soon.

Omar, Alba, Vanessa and Hernan, we wish you continued strength. Your family and friends are always welcome at CUE Haven and we are grateful that we can provide a place where Omar can be remembered and his life celebrated.

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