Family and friends of a man who helped save the Birmingham Botanical Gardens from financial ruin in the late 1960s gathered this week for a thanksgiving service.
More than 100 people attended the service for former JP David Charles Yeoman Higgs at Edgbaston Old Church.
Mr Higgs, who lived in Edgbaston, previously suffered a stroke in 1980 and died October 1, aged 78.
After working in the USA, he joined his family's firm, Higgs Motors.
He was active during the Birmingham Botanical Gardens' (BBG) critical years when it was on the brink of financial ruin, after he joined the Birmingham Botanical & Horticultural Society in
1966. Later he became a part of its general committee in 1969, where he helped to foster membership and publicity.
Determined to see the BBG become more famous, while providing a number of high quality attractions for the people of Birmingham, Mr Higgs set out to persuade the city of Birmingham to contribute financially.
In June 1970, he organised the production of a ten-page handout for members of the society. Costing 15p, it contained a suggested route around the gardens, and notes on more than 450 plants.
Together with other members including curator Philip Butler, teacher Tony Sames and Prof Donald Skelding, Mr Higgs developed the Environmental Studies Centre for schoolchildren.
He also encouraged a number of changes at the BBG, which generated income and raised the profile, including the introduction of a plant sales area, the reorganisation of the bird and small animal cages, improved facilities for the visitors, and persuaded musicians to play without charge in the bandstand. He also enabled television shows including Tiswas with Chris Tarrant, to be broadcast from the Gardens.
At the end of the financial year in 1971, the fortunes of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens saw a distinct change for the better, with an improved income of more than £2,000 because of the changes made by Mr Higgs and members of the society's publicity sub-committee.
By the time of his stroke, he had done so much to help to save the BBG, that in 1984 he was made an Honorary Life Member, a privilege awarded to very few people.
A spokesman at the gardens said: "David Higgs' foresight in developing the Gardens as a viable commercial operation was instrumental in Birmingham City Council becoming interested enough to provide us with grant assistance.
"Those of us who now enjoy these Gardens could well pause for a moment and say, thank you, David."