BY: Alan McRae
Raymond Edmund MacRae 1942 - 2012
Raymond Edmund MacRae, ‘Ray’ to his family and friends, passed away at 10am on Thursday 20th December, 2012, in Orange District Hospital after a two year fight with cancer. His funeral was held on 24th December, Christmas Eve in the Catholic Church in Orange. A large number of family, friends and past workmates gathered to farewell a man who had a zest for life and dearly wanted to beat his affliction. It was not to be and Ray realised this, amazing many with his acceptance to move from this world to the next.
Whether you were a MacRae or McRae or any other way it may be spelt you were family. I first met Ray when he was doing some family history.
Ray’s nephew Mark Saddler read the eulogy at the service and much of the following information is from Mark’s eulogy.
Who was Raymond Edward MacRae and where did he come from?
The 7th February, 1942, was the year that Ray MacRae turned up on the planet. He was the child of Patrick Raymond MacRae and Mary Dodd. He was born in Sydney in Arncliffe. His family consisted of June MacRae, now Saddler and Desmond George MacRae who passed away on 23rd October, 2011.
Paddy and Mary MacRae moved the family from Sydney not long after Desmond was born to go to Lake Cargelligo to assist on the family farm. Those days would have been very hard and long as most of the time was spent clearing trees and fencing. No modern equipment then just blood and sweat and tears.
Ray MacRae started and finished his schooling at Lake Cargelligo. Paddy and Mary both wanted Ray to go to Sydney to get better schooling but Ray, who was very close to his mother, wanted to stay in Lake Cargelligo.
After school he started work at the Post Office at Lake Cargelligo where he was involved in the telephone exchange. He learnt Morse Code just as it went out of use. This was the in time before I phones, I pads and Facebook. This was a place where you would have to manually connect one caler to another on the switchboard.
He then spent a short time in Sydney trying out to be a radio announcer. He later moved to Wagga where he started work at Beaurepaires which were the main supplier of car and truck tyres. While in Wagga he met and married Jan and they had 4 children, Donna, Deb, Maryzell and Paul.
At Beaurepaires Ray started as a tyre fitter before working his way up to Manager then Area Manager. In this position he showed his true skills of money control and budgets. He would often travel to many stores that were struggling to ensure that they could make a profit and turn them around. He would do this with just shear hard work and the ability to fix what was wrong.
Later in life, about 1979, Ray married Yvonne and they had 2 girls Emma and Christine and also 2 stepdaughters Mandy and Kate.
Ray was a man who spent a lot of his time not wasting time. He was a volunteer at various St Vincent de Paul doing various tasks such as general work, OH&S inspections, computer changeovers and updates as well as showing the younger ones how to do budgets and how to run a business. He was also on several committees of the Catholic Church.
He also was a volunteer in Orange and Bathurst with the Community Transport driving patients to and from Sydney so they could get medical help and treatment Ray spent many hours working for the Bathurst District Historical Society maintaining their computer system and introducing systemization. He updated the websites for both the Bathurst District Historical Society and the Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand. With the latter he wrote a number of stories which he posted regularly. All this he did without payment as he just wanted to be doing something helpful.
Ray was constantly on the move, only sometimes slowing down to tell you some information about how much fuel an A380 aircraft would use on its take off and how that related to green house gases and the world. His nephew Mark Saddler would say to him sometimes, “Uncle Ray your head is so full of facts and stuff it must rattle.” Ray would give Mark a dry smile and say, “sometimes it does.” Imagine if his Uncle Ray had a USB port in the back of his head, you could download some amazing stuff!
Ray attended meetings of the Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand in Sydney and other gatherings in recent years. For a short time he did the Society’s newsletter. He enjoyed writing poetry and short stories, at one time he was part of a writer’s group publishing in Orange. As all his family, friends and acquaintances knew Ray was a good talker and he will be missed by all his family and friends.
Well done Ray, you have made the world a better place for being here.
Alan McRae, FAIHA, President