Betty Hickey Retires From Palace Rose Garden After 28 Years

Here is a letter to Betty Hickey from the Palace Garden crew:

Dear Betty,

Last year when you confirmed your decision about retiring after this year, we felt devastated.  We know that’s a rather strong word, but for those of us who have worked alongside of you for so many years, it is hard to imagine the Palace Garden without you.

You have been so wonderful to work with.  We really have been blessed and very fortunate to have had your as a mentor and friend for all these years.  By your example, your dedication and steadiness you have taught us what it takes to create and properly maintain the Palace Garden in the highest quality that you have established for Prabhupada at his Palace.  Oftentimes the devotees boast about our award-winning Rose Garden – and those of us who know you, brag about Betty, our Master Gardener, without whose hard work, love and devotion the Rose Garden would not be as exceptional and special as it is.

Regardless of how busy you are, you’ve always taken the time to answer our endless questions, offer suggestions, help make decisions, and share your unlimited wealth of knowledge from years of study and hands-on experience.  And not only have you so generously given your time to us, but you have also spent countless hours talking with the thousands of pilgrims who have come through the Garden gate.  With your warm smile and gracious demeanor, you have definitely contributed to our visitors having a positive New Vrindavan experience and have been one of our community’s best ambassadors.

Betty, you have been such a loyal friend – not just to those of us who have worked with you – but also to the New Vrindavan Community itself.  You and your husband, Jim, have seen us at our worst, and regardless of what the outer community or your friends and peers have thought or said, you’ve stuck by us.  We thank you and will always be grateful to you for that.

When we arrive at the Palace each day and see your truck, we feel a certain comfort – like small children knowing their mother is near.  For the first time in 26 years, next year we will not have that comfort.  And that will be very difficult to get used to .  We will miss you more than you realize – even more than we realize.  But we are so thankful for those special years we have shared with you.  Thank you for everything, Betty.


The Palace Garden Crew

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