Coming up roses for local legend at Copas Park

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Noble Park horticulturist Tom Copas’ legacy will live on forever with a fitting tribute to his contribution as the area’s first ever rose grower.

For a Noble Park community park named after a much-loved horticulturist, there couldn’t be a more fitting tribute than the addition of a rose garden.

Copas Park is named after the late Tom Copas, the first ever rose grower at the nearby Springvale Crematorium.

Originally born in South Australia, Mr Copas moved to Noble Park and took up his position at Springvale Crematorium in the 1930s. He quickly became a popular local figure who shared his love of roses and horticulture with the community and was involved in planning and planting at the park that would later become his namesake.

A black and white photo of Mr Thomas

His granddaughter Michele Stewart remembers stories of Tom being a hit with the locals, leaving a lasting impression in and around Noble Park.

“He was MC at a lot of the debutant balls in Noble Park and did a lot of community work.

“He was a community-minded man,” she said.

The Copas Park rose garden includes interpretive signage, giving locals an insight into Mr Copas and his rich legacy in the area.

The project is part of the Victorian Government’s ongoing Noble Park Revitalisation. It includes a series of projects helping transform the area following level crossing removals at Noble Park Station in January 2018.

Ms Stewart was delighted by news of the signage and seeing the design of the rose garden, which confirmed for her just how important her grandfather was to Noble Park.

“It makes me feel like he was really appreciated and belonged in the community. People had respect for him.”

In addition to establishing the Noble Park Horticultural Society in 1954, Mr Copas was also a trustee of the Noble Park Public Hall for 25 years, volunteered with local youth groups and introduced local teenagers to the art of ballroom dancing in his Master of Ceremonies role at the public hall.

Ms Stewart is thrilled the Copas family legacy will live on in Noble Park.

“I think in this day and age, heritage is important. I try and instil that in my children and my grandchildren. This will be around a long time and we can always go there and reflect on the heritage of the family.

“If I had been asked for what I wanted in the park, it couldn’t have been any more perfect than what it is."