Former Queensland Media Association member Maureen Hultgren passed away peacefully at Tewantin on Sunday 8th August 2021. She was aged 85 years. Maureen was married to long-time ABC gardening talkback presenter, Rod Hultgren, who passed away in 2017. Maureen and Rod won Grand Champion Garden at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers for their property at 13 Hinton Street, Toowoomba in 1989, 1991-1993, 1998 and 1999.
The couple were known for their encyclopaedic knowledge of plants and in particular, their love of roses, camellias and cliveas. They worked tirelessly for the community in support of a number of causes. They were a driving force in the establishment of the Queensland State Rose Garden in Newtown Park, Toowoomba (www.qldstaterosegarden.com); the annual Queensland Camellia Society Show whose profits support the local hospice and the Queensland Clivea Society among others. Such was her dedication to the Carnival of Flowers event that just a few months after husband of 57 years passed away, Maureen took Rod’s place in judging the Carnival’s ABC Radio gardening award category along with broadcaster Penny McKinlay.
After Rod’s passing, Maureen resigned from the Media Association and left her beloved Toowoomba, moving to Tewantin to be closer to family. The couple had spent many holidays in the area. Maureen was a gentle soul who was more than happy to let her more flamboyant husband take centre stage, but when it came to horticultural expertise, she could more than hold her own.