It is with much sadness that we note the passing of Life Member, Ray Allen. Ray passed away peacefully on the 4th July aged 71.
Ray and his wife Andrea were an integral part of the club for many years, with all three of their children playing for the Club from 1976 to the late 1990’s. Ray began his involvement, like many members, as a coach, before becoming a committee member and then President until 1999.
Ray and other members were instrumental in building the first Clubrooms in 1985. In October 1995 the Clubrooms were devastated by arson and the Club lost a lot of its artifacts but certainly not its spirit in the fire.
Together with the then Chairman, Warwick Ashton, Ray set about ensuring the members had a temporary base and that the Club did not lose its unique culture. A local bar, Chances became the Club’s home for two years whilst Ray and the committee set about rebuilding the Clubrooms which remain in place today.
Ray always had the strong support of Andrea and her efforts were also recognized by way of a Life Membership.
Upon retirement Ray and Andrea shifted north to Maungaturoto where they were known as a welcoming and helpful couple behind the counter at the Maungaturoto Lotto and Stationery shop.
Those of us who knew Ray remember him as a welcoming and generous man who would appear at your table in the Clubrooms and plonk down a couple of quart bottles of beer to be shared amongst your team.
Without the efforts of Ray and indeed Andrea the Club simply would not be as successful as it is today.
I’m sure Ray is looking down on us with that fatherly sense of pride of his contribution and how his spirit remains imbued in the Club we know and love today.
Rest in peace, Ray.