Orchardist Peter Darley dies from heart attack, aged 72

SHOCK LOSS: Peter Darley died suddenly after a heart attack on Thursday. Photo: Photo: ANDREW MURRAY 1122amapp1
SHOCK LOSS: Peter Darley died suddenly after a heart attack on Thursday. Photo: Photo: ANDREW MURRAY 1122amapp1

PETER Darley will be remembered by his loved ones and the organisations he joined as a caring man who always gave his all.

Mr Darley died on Thursday from a heart attack at the age of 72, 18 months after he sold Daydawn Nashdale orchard where he grew apples for 57 years.

During his career, he spent six years as chairman of NSW Farmers' horticulture committee and two years as the association's vice-president.

A Paul Harris Fellow, he was also a member of the Rotary Club of Orange North for 29 years, serving several of them on the board and 1998-99 as president.

He was married to Julie Darley for almost 45 years, after the pair were introduced through a friend.

Mrs Darley said she most valued his compassion.

"He was just a lovely, caring person," she said.

He gave a lot of himself and he was the first to put his hand up.

Rotary Club of Orange North acting president Steve Jackson

"He did so much for so many people - he thoroughly enjoyed the work he did and the lobbying he did."

Current NSW Farmers horticulture committee chairman and fellow Nashdale orchardist Guy Gaeta said Mr Darley's work helped growers move towards fair pay for their product after a nine-year battle.

"It was open slather - they could pay you what they wanted and when they wanted," he said.

"Now they've got to tell you within 24 hours the price on the product and payment has to be within 14 days of receiving it."

Mr Gaeta said when New Zealand started sending apples to Australia, there was a risk of introducing fireblight to the country, but Mr Darley's lobbying set import criteria to protect Australian orchards.

FONDLY REMEMBERED: Peter Darley.

FONDLY REMEMBERED: Peter Darley.

Rotary Club of Orange North acting president Steve Jackson said Mr Darley was a driving force and would be sorely missed.

"Rotary's motto is 'service above self' and that was how he lived his life - he gave a lot of himself and he was the first to put his hand up," he said.

Mr Darley was volunteering at FoodCare when he suffered the heart attack and leaves two daughters, Karen Fliedner and Kylie Garvin, and three grandchildren.

"He loved the little ones, absolutely," Mrs Darley said.

"Our grandson loved working alongside him in the garden."

The Darley family thanked the FoodCare volunteers for their efforts and in lieu of flowers, has requested donations to the Rotary club, which will be put towards a charity project in Mr Darley's honour.