Glenorie Progress Association

A fitting memory for November Remembrance Day is a story about Ray Whiteman the organizer of the Remembrance Day service at the Glenorie cenotaph for many years.

Plus of course Anzac Day service where we all recall his singing of the National Anthem, Abide with Me and all the services songs.

Ray passed away on August 2019 and over three hundred people crammed into the Glenorie Mission Church to celebrate his life – a testament to the huge number of people in our community who knew, loved and respected Ray.

Ray was the thread that drew so many people together in maintaining the core values of our community. He worked in his own business as an electrician, served his years of National Service in the Navy, was a key player in the Scouts movement and sailed and owned sailing boats.

He held many community roles included – President and public Officer of Eastbend Rural Communications Inc.; Chair of Glenorie Progress Association; a member of the Glenorie Maroota Bio-Regional Forum from its inception and member of Hills Community Aid Inc.

Ray main commitment was his stewardship of the Glenorie Memorial Hall and Wal Buckingham Park. He chaired the Hall Committee, created and maintained the gardens and lined the walls with photographs of homes that belonged to early Glenorie residents. All these photos he framed and maintained himself.

Those who knew Ray will know of other things that he did for them and the community.

I saw him a fair bit growing up and he was always so kind and sweet and dedicated, particularly so to the garden there in Glenorie. He was so knowledgeable of Glenorie too. I remember he didn’t like waste and loved his Church and religion. He always tried to do the right thing.

Our Uncle Ray will always be remembered dearly. He had a humble selfless nature, he set an example for us all, with his morals, Christian beliefs and standards, and the respect he displayed for others.

I loved travelling back to Glenorie regularly, to spend time with Uncle Ray. We would sit and talk for hours, and he bestowed me with his wisdom and advice.

Our family is so incredibly proud of the person he was and the tireless commitment and contributions he made to the community of Glenorie.

Uncle Ray was involved in so many community activities. Earlier on it was Scouting, and in later years it was, the Glenorie Memorial Hall. In the hall, he gathered and displayed numerous photos of the Glenorie families and the community of which he was so proud to be part of.

As a family we have so many beautiful memories of wonderful times spent together. Even though I continue to miss Uncle Ray, he will be in our hearts forever.

I have a picture in my mind of Ray on hands and knees weeding the gardens, tending to the gazanias that he had planted. He also arranged the Council planting of the Western Red Gums that line the streets of Glenorie Village and give us a stunning display of colour in summer.

Ray was affectionately known at the “Mayor of Glenorie” and was custodian of the Glenorie Memorial Hall. He handpainted the military emblems on the glass windows, compiled the photo display in the Hall and was President of the Hall Committee. I had large boots to fill when I took over from Ray as President of the Glenorie Progress Association, which he ran for countless years.

And, of course, we are planning the tribute to Ray by naming the wonderful carved sandstone heritage fence after him. Ray is an integral part of the heritage of this area and we hope to demonstrate in the 13 piers of this fence this rich heritage ranging from the First Nations people, the convict building of the Great North Road, the early settlers and the farming and agriculture, transport, sand mining, sport and other community services.

We salute you, Ray Whiteman, for your wonderful contribution to our community.