Fred gives centre a rosy glow

Downfall Creek Bushland Centre Volunteer Fred Matthews loves sharing his roses

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THANKS A BUNCH: Staff at Downfall Creek Bushland Centre are grateful to volunteer Fred Matthews for brightening their day with roses from his garden.

THANKS A BUNCH: Staff at Downfall Creek Bushland Centre are grateful to volunteer Fred Matthews for brightening their day with roses from his garden.

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Volunteer Fred Matthews has won hearts at Downfall Creek Bushland Centre.

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Stafford Heights man Fred Matthews is winning hearts with his home grown roses.

Fred, 87, started volunteering at the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre at Chermside Hills Reserve two years ago, shortly after the death of his wife Beverley.

In that time he has won a place in the hearts of the centre's staff, regularly taking them roses from his garden.

"My grandfather grew roses and won prizes and after many years, I decided I'd take up where he left off," Fred said.

He started growing them five or six years ago.

"I thought it was a bit of a waste leaving them all on the bushes, so ... I generally take them and give them to someone. When I walk into the offices and put the roses on the desk, everybody comes over to smell them and gives me a lot of thank-yous."

Fred, who has lived in the area for about 60 years, had been a frequent visitor to the Brisbane Council reserve prior to volunteering.

He had often seen the sign asking for volunteers. "I live so close and was going there quite a lot ... so I thought I'd give it a go."

His work includes erecting signs, clearing fallen leaves in autumn and sometimes answering visitors' questions. "I'm a bit old to do some things, but I do what I can," he said.

The retired tradesman said it was a pleasure to help maintain the area he had loved to visit for so long to watch children play and admire the butterflies and birds.

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