ON the anniversary of Stuart Rattle’s tragic death, a community is focusing its grief towards a stunning tribute to a man who appreciated beauty.
A statue – formerly a centrepiece of Mr Rattle’s Musk Farm – was gifted to the Daylesford
community on Thursday and sits at the Wombat Hill gardens.
The Boy with a Thorn was bequeathed to Mr Rattle after the death of his friend and fellow gardener Kevin O’Neil.
“Stuart’s death has a particular pain attached to it and it’s not something you can get over or understand easily,” Friends of Wombat Hill secretary Patrice O’Shea said.
“The last time most of us saw Stuart was at the Wombat Hill AGM last year, and many of us are still trying to get our heads around the situation.
“This will help in that healing and it’s nice there’s a piece of him at the gardens now.”
Today marks one year since Mr Rattle was killed at the hands of his partner Michael O’Neill, who pleaded guilty to murdering his partner of 16 years and setting fire to his South Yarra apartment.
Mr Rattle’s family and friends gathered at Wombat Hill at the weekend to remember a man who dedicated so much of his time to the garden.
“He loved these gardens and dedicated a lot of his time to helping us create a beautiful space,” Ms O’Shea said.
“He didn’t only like the look of gardens, but the plants themselves and the process of restoration.
“There was something special about him and I hate the word passion because it’s used far too much, but if Stuart was anything, he was passionate.”