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"It released a wave of sweet, unforgettable fragrance," he said yesterday.
"Nearly 80 years later that same ancient aroma can still take me back to that moment." Today the television gardener has become a Member (AM) of the General Division of the Order of Australia. Called up by the military in World War II, he served with the British Parachute Regiment in Europe and the Middle East.
By Malcolm Brown PETER CUNDALL can well remember the inspiration that foreshadowed the course he would take in his eventful life - the fragrance of a briar rose that he squeezed as a three-year-old.
Going outside in tears after an altercation with his mother, he had become curious about the object in front of him.
After his release he rejoined the British Army and served in the Middle East during the Palestine emergency, where he was at least able to see orange groves developed in desert conditions.
After migrating to Australia in 1950 he joined the army and was sent to Korea, where he took notes on plants on the front line and was wounded by shrapnel.
"The organisers think it's funny because it's all young people who put in entries." She proudly points out that at 79 she is again the oldest entrant in the annual competition.
This year is her third year entering a film, but she has appeared in others in previous years.
After more than half a century of involvement in the arts and entertainment industry, Mrs Hruby has been recognised with a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the general division.
The head of Transfield Holdings has been named a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for service to the construction industry and the arts.
Transfield projects include the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Melbourne's City Link and Brisbane's Airtrain.