Rita George stands in front of one of the bougainvillea in her Rockhampton yard. She believes it was her beautiful purple bougainvillea that featured on the front page of The Morning Bulletin several times last week. It has recently been heavily pruned and hence did not feature in this photo. Picture: Jann Houley
Rita George stands in front of one of the bougainvillea in her Rockhampton yard. She believes it was her beautiful purple bougainvillea that featured on the front page of The Morning Bulletin several times last week. It has recently been heavily pruned and hence did not feature in this photo. Picture: Jann Houley

Rocky senior lays claim to THAT bougainvillea

A Rockhampton woman has laid claim to the stunning bougainvillea that last week featured on the front page of News Corp papers, including The Morning Bulletin.

Rita George, 89, believes it is hers because a neighbour told her he had seen it being photographed and also because of a distinguishing feature.

“I know it was my tree because there’s a certain little branch that sticks out,” she said.

“I just had it pruned recently but I can see that little branch still sticking out.

“I was quite flattered to think they used it.”

Mrs George describes herself as a “lazy gardener”, and that was a big reason behind her planting several bougainvillea in the yard of her home in The Range.

“I’ve been here since 1955. I think I planted that particular one possibly in the first five or 10 years that we were here,” she said.

Rockhampton’s Rita George says that is her bougainvillea that featured on the front page of The Morning Bulletin last week.
Rockhampton’s Rita George says that is her bougainvillea that featured on the front page of The Morning Bulletin last week.

“I’m a lazy gardener and bougainvillea is one thing that you don’t need to water a lot and you don’t need to worry about too much.

“When I’m down there (in the yard) people passing by do comment about them.”

Mrs George made the move from her hometown of Wingham in New South Wales to Rockhampton in her 20s and trained in nursing.

She married soon after she got her qualifications and nursed “on and off” for several years at both the Rockhampton and Mater hospitals.

Mrs George has been a long-time reader of The Morning Bulletin.

She said she was considering the move to the digital model but hadn’t looked into it just yet.

“I loved reading all the local news. You knew who was doing what, who was birthed and who had died,” she said.

“I knew a lot of these people because, being a nurse, I had met a lot of them.

“Rockhampton is a nice, friendly place. I’ve always felt at home here and I’ve made lots of friends over the years.

“It’s just an easy place to live in.”

Footnote: The Morning Bulletin is investigating the origins of the bougainvillea photo used in numerous front page advertisements.