Suellen Murray Educational Bursary

bursary logoSuellen Murray, BPR, LLB, loved the Halifax Public Gardens and walked through on her way to work in the Department of Health each day.  It had particular meaning and joy for her during the three years after her diagnosis of a brain tumour.

In 2014, Dr T.J. (Jock) and Janet Murray, Suellen’s parents, and her husband, Byron Rafuse, established a bursary to recognise her love of the Gardens and to encourage and support educational activities related to this very special space in our city.

Bursary:  $1000.00 awarded annually.

How to donate to the Suellen Murray Educational Bursary

card-largeMany of Suellen’s friends and colleagues have already contributed to the fund. The general public is also invited to make a donation. An income tax receipt will be issued. Funds are invested by The Friends of The Public Gardens.

Donate Online

or send donation to:

Suellen Murray Educational Bursary
Box 36013, 5665 Spring Garden Road
Halifax, NS. B3J 3S9

 

To Apply For The Bursary:

Download the application form here (pdf)

Please follow the guidelines for submission and deadlines as noted.

Selection Process

All submissions will be reviewed and a final decision made by the Bursary Committee (a sub-committee of Board, The Friends of The Public Gardens) and the Murray family.

 

2017 Bursary Award Recipient

 

Dr. Halstead accepting her award from Dr. T. J (Jock) and Janet Murray at the Victoria Day Tea Party hosted by The Friends of the Public Gardens, Lord Nelson Hotel, May 22,

Dr. Halstead accepting her award from Dr. T. J (Jock) and Janet Murray at the Victoria Day Tea Party hosted by The Friends of the Public Gardens, Lord Nelson Hotel, May 22. Photo by Martin Wigginton

 

 

The recipient of the 2017 Suellen Murray Education Bursary was Dr. Claire Halstead.

Dr. Halstead is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a PhD in History.  The Bursary Selection Committee was intrigued with her proposal entitled “150 Years as the Heart of Halifax: A Study on Public Engagement and the Halifax Public Gardens” and especially its relevance to the Gardens in its 150th anniversary year. People were asked to share stories, memories and photographs with her in multiple ways over the summer of 2017. Many of you may have seen the clothesline strung across the inside of Horticultural Hall.  People of all ages took advantage of this particular method to write and share precious memories and reflections on the Gardens and the impact it had on their lives.

From those shared stories and archival research, Claire has produced an interesting, insightful report which will be shared with Friends and the general public in the new year.

Donate so other young professionals, students, or citizens may benefit from the Suellen Murray Educational Bursary.

2016 – No Bursary Awarded

2015 Bursary Award Recipient

amy-soosaar-joseph

Amy with members of Suellen Murray’s family. Photo by Serena Graham-Dwyer

The  first recipient of the Suellen Murray Educational Bursary was Amy Soosaar-Joseph.

Amy is a municipal gardener who oversees the dahlia beds in the Public Gardens and leads the organization of the annual Dahlia Day. The bursary helped her travel to the American Dahlia Society Centennial Show in New York.  Amy took several specimens of dahlias from the Gardens with her and returned with multiple blue ribbons!!  Awards included:

  • “Best Waterlily” for the Hollyhill Blackwidow in the new grower category;
  • Five Dahlias won first place in the open competition for all of North America: Hollyhill Blackwidow, Cornel, Ivanetti, Tiny Treasure and Camano Puff.

Donate so other young professionals, students, or citizens may benefit from the Suellen Murray Educational Bursary.

The Story behind the Blue Heron logo          

blue-heron

Photo by Serena Graham-Dwyer

One morning, Suellen was walking through the Halifax Public Gardens on her way to work.  She stopped at the pond, and noticed that a Great Blue Heron was resting on the island in the pond.  This was quite an unusual sight, so she took a picture and sent it around to family and friends.

On August 26, 2015, the first bursary was awarded during the 5th annual Dahlia Day celebrations.  In announcing the winner of the bursary, Suellen’s mother, Janet Murray,  mentioned the incident of the Great Blue Heron.  The head gardener then rose to say that the heron had returned to the Gardens that very day.  The heron has taken on a special meaning for Suellen’s family and friends, and has been chosen as the logo for the bursary.

 

An internationally recognized medical doctor, professor, researcher and author, Dr T. J (Jock) Murray, finds relaxation with his oil paints. He recently presented Judith Cabrita, Chair of the Board, The Friends of The Public Gardens, with a painting he had done of the blue heron.

An internationally recognized medical doctor, professor, researcher and author, Dr T. J (Jock) Murray, finds relaxation with his oil paints. He recently presented Judith Cabrita, Chair of the Board, The Friends of The Public Gardens, with a painting he had done of the blue heron.

 

a picture of a heron painting

“The Blue Heron” hangs in Horticultural Hall in The Public Gardens.