Remembering Ronald William Morgan 1934-2021

Ronald William Morgan

Ronald William Morgan

"He was a humble, simple man who loved people and his community, and had a capacity for a deep love and affection for his family and friends."

These were among the accolades expressed at the funeral of local personality Ronald William Morgan, whose death occurred in the Boorowa District Hospital on April 3, at the age of 86 years.

He had endured a relatively brief but arduous final battle with cancer, which was diagnosed late last year.

He showed typical courage and resolution in those final days, and members of his family who spent time with him regarded that opportunity as a rewarding experience.

"It is a great privilege to speak about this good man," friend Derrick Mason said, when delivering the eulogy.

"Today we mourn him, and give thanks for his wonderful life."

Ron was born on June 29, 1934 at Boorowa, the second son of Bert and Phyllis Morgan.

He had a brother Kevin, who pre-deceased him, and sister Margaret.

His family is descended from immigrant David Morgan who came to Australia from Glamorganshire, Wales, in the 19th century.

Ron was just six weeks old when the family moved to Manatoo, where his father served as a teamster and overseer for James Barnes.

He and his brother attended the Suffolk Vale School, which sometimes, when the river was in flood, required a walk of some three miles.

The small school closed in 1946, and Ron then rode his horse into Boorowa for the balance of his schooling.

His first job was trapping rabbits at Forest Creek, and he later worked as 'chainman' for Sonny Fogarty, pulling out briar bushes at Lugarno, Rugby.

He camped all week and lived on boiled meat and spuds.

His next job was at Whareora, where he worked for eleven pounds for a seven day week.

As his father was a teamster, Ron grew up with horses and other livestock and became expert at the craft of caring for them.

He delivered a horse to Mark Boulding at Golden Valley, Kenyu Road in 1952 and that's where he met the love of his life, Mark's daughter Amy.

He said he thought she was she most beautiful girl he had ever seen.

Like many 18-19 year olds of that era, Ron was required to do compulsory military training, and that was at New Holsworthy, near Liverpool, with 12 National Service Training Battalion.

His CMF commitment in subsequent years was with a unit known as the 7/21st Australian Horse Regiment.

When he came out of National Service in 1954 he and Amy were married.

It was a happy union, producing three sons, John, Robert and Stephen.

When an opportunity to establish a local carrying business came to naught, Ron held station hand positions on a number of local properties during his working life, including Campbellfields and Castlesteads.

His skills with livestock and farm machinery made him a great asset to any employer.

In 1998 he suffered a heart attack, and then a serious farm accident.

This cut short his working life and in the following year he and Amy moved into Boorowa to live in retirement.

Due to his National Service record, Ron was eligible to join the RSL sub-Branch, and was also active in the National Servicemen's Association.

Eventually he was persuaded to accept election as President of the RSL sub-Branch, a position he held for several years.

Although unfamiliar with the responsibility of running meetings, Ron made up for his lack of experience in this department by his obvious sincerity.

His focus was not on himself, but upon the welfare of members, particularly the older members, for whom he showed great consideration and concern.

When it was decided in 2012 to embark on 'Boorowa Remembers', a project to recognise, during the 2015 Anzac Centenary, the meritorious service of local men and women in WW1, he had his reservations.

But he nevertheless gave the project his full and unstinting support.

In the eulogy, Derrick said that he could say, "from acute personal experience," that Ron's support had been critical to the success of the project, and the fact that his name was associated with the establishment of permanent reminders of that commemoration was richly deserved.

"This humble man will go down as one of the most significant leaders of the RSL in this town."

After 64 years of happy marriage, Ron lost Amy, his life partner, in June 2018.

It was a terrible blow for him, and life had less meaning for him without her.

But Ron continued to take an interest in family and friends, as he had always done.

And he took great interest in the National Rugby League competition, with a strong allegiance for the South Sydney 'Rabbitohs.'

His sons made every effort to spend much quality time with him during the last days of his life, and this was something which Ron found to be a great consolation.

"Ron's three sons, John, Robert and Stephen, and their families, can be very proud to have had a father, grandfather and great-grandfather of such calibre. May he rest in peace."

The graveside service at Boorowa Lawn Cemetery on Monday, April 12, was conducted by celebrant Greg Hughes of Hughes Communications.

He said the celebration of Ron's life was undertaken on behalf of his three sons, grandchildren Nathan, Ricky, Samantha, Ashley and Rachael, great grandson Dustin, and Ron's wife Amy, as well as Ron's beloved dog Cindy, also present at the ceremony.

Grandchildren Samantha, Ashley and Rachael delivered two emotional readings appropriate for the occasion, 'The Road Home,' and 'Irish Blessing.'

"Ron, we will forever treasure the memory of your words and works, your character and quality, and will be forever thankful for having known you," Greg Hughes said.

"We let you go into the wind's breath and the hands of the star maker."

The funeral director, and provider of the music used during the ceremony, was W. T. Dennis and Son of Yass.

Pallbearers were John, Nathan, Robert, Rick, Stephen and Dustin Morgan, and Peter Martin.