50 Years membership for Ray at Coolangatta
Coolangatta Bowls Club recently celebrated a 50-year membership milestone with Ray Meehan. Ray and his late wife, Barbara, have three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Ray’s eyes light up when talking about his family, who visit him every fortnight.
Ray retired from Ansett Australia at age 62 after 33 years and was presented with a new set of black bowls with the Ansett insignia.
One of Ray’s mates from the airline encouraged him to play bowls at South Tweed Bowls Club, which he did for about three years before joining Barbara at Coolangatta Bowls Club in November 1972. Sadly Barbara, who also bowled and was the club’s ladies’ secretary, passed away in 2016.
After joining the club, Ray soon became involved in volunteering and in 1973, his first job was to sell raffle tickets. He became the bowls coordinator in the 1980s and president in 1990/91, 1991/92 and 1997/98. He won the club’s premier event, the Bonanza in 1976, and joined his teammates to become Triples Champions in 1978/79, 1979/80 and 1984/85 and Fours Champions in 1978/79, 1979/80, 1989/90, 1991/92 and 2005/06. Ray also took over from Gary Shadforth to run the successful ‘Saturday at Cooly’.
After being honoured with Life Membership at the club, in 2010 Ray received an award from the Australian Sports Commission for his dedication to the sport as well as a commendation from the Queensland Government for his voluntary service to bowls.
Ray still resides in the house he shared with Barbara for more than 60 years, now with his son Allan and beloved 10-year-old Great Dane cross, Zoe (more like a mini horse to some). Ray is often at the club, catching up with club members, always friendly and welcoming. He’s seen a lot of changes over the years but says he “just loves the club as it has such a great atmosphere”.
The club members would like to thank Ray for the support he has given to the club and its members during his 50 years.
Contributed by Pam Bews