Community News

Ray some years ago…the one which didn’t get away.


Ray Simpson

The family of long-term local resident and keen fisherman Ray Simpson sadly advise that recently the 96-year-old Ray peacefully passed away at Mareeba Aged Care, after a rapid decline.

During WWII Ray was in army reserves (not being able to sign up, as he was in a protected industry at BHP Port Kembla steel works).

After the war in 1950’s he went on to run a highly successful electrical contracting businesses on the Illawarra /South Coast and the Southern Highlands, before following his and Bonnies dreams of being land owning pastoralists. They had successful properties near Wagga Wagga, Coonabarabran, Inverell and an adventure-packed stints in SW and WA between Albany and Mt Barker.

In his earlier life Ray was actively in involved in service organisations -serving as president of Apex in Bowral in the 1960’s

He was well known as a multi skilled sportsman – excelling in boxing, hockey, bike riding, cricket, and most of all, his beloved rugby league, where at one stage just after WWII he was captain of a newly reconstituted Dapto team.

Ray, most importantly to him, was a sometimes award-winning, dedicated, some might say even, obsessive fisherman, who until quite recently could be seen (to the consternation of many), determinedly putting his small runabout into the sea at Woody Heads, where he would venture many kilometres out of sight, to his favourite fishing spots where he most often was highly successful.

Although Ray largely lead a private life, he will remembered for his forthright, friendly open manner, quick cheeky wit, defiant competitive nature, generosity and decades long support for the Labor Party, especially at the local election booth, turning up at the crack of dawn with his long-term friend and colleague, Kay Jeffries, to occupy  their favoured strategically positioned spot and run the booth in a competitive yet civil manner.

Ray lost his much loved and highly respected wife Bonnie, 7-years ago and is survived by a large and loving family of sons, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Ray was cremated at Chatsworth Crematorium and his life celebrated at a private informal ceremony attended by family and close friends on Saturday October 9.

Thanks go to Hope, Ryan, and Justine at Riverside Funerals for their friendly, professional, and caring assistance.