Raymond was born on the 20th of June, 1961 to two very proud parents, Bill and Shirl and was the youngest brother to myself and Gary. Raymond attended St Joseph’s primary school and Leichhardt Ward and finished his schooling at Rockhampton State High School.
As a family, we spent many an hour fishing at the local watering holes and loved spending time with our extended family, Auntie Mary, Uncle Vince and John.
Our family always loved our pets, from horses to cats, cockatoos to our beloved dalmatians. Raymond particulary loved spending time with his dogs.
He always enjoyed hanging out with my friends. Helen, Sandy, Kathy and Gay have many a story to tell of his misadventures.
Raymond began work at the Lakes Creek Meatworks and then moved to Queensland Rail. His employment finished there abruptly when he accidently shot himself in his own foot. In his late twenties, Raymond decided to explore his entrepreneurial skills and established his own business called Clean and Shine.
While Raymond was not particularly academic, his mechanical skills were quite amazing and Mum often needed to call him after Dad had tried to fix things. One day, Dad had pulled the mower apart and proudly called Mum down to show her his work. When Mum found six screw lying next to the mower Dad told her that they must have been spares. Mum immediately called Raymond who came to the rescue and found all of the places that they should have been in.
Raymond’s passion was always for his cars. He actually started driving at the age of eleven when he found an abandoned Austin A40 and coaxed it back to life. It mysteriously turned up at home after he had driven quite a number of kilometers to get it there. His pride and joy was his XY Falcon which he spent hours on restoring. Unfortunately, he didn’t show my car the same love and care!
Raymond loved spending time with Dad and we referred to them as Dad and Dave. They spent many an hour concocting plans and drinking beer together.
Raymond loved his beer, often a little too much! Most publicans new Raymond very well as too did all of the local police officers. Raymond actually thought the term DD actually stood for Didn’t Do it. Raymond was not stupid though…he always had his escape route planned.
Unfortunately, Raymond suffered from severe mental health issues which impacted his and our lives for many years but he found solace in his religion. He attended mass regularly and always took his dog, Gemma with him. Mum received a phone call from dear Sr Martha who told her that they didn’t mind Raymond bringing his dog to church however they had to draw the line about Raymond giving Gemma a drink from the holy water.
I must thank Claire Harmsworth who has been a loving and caring support to Raymond for the past twenty-five years and I know how much Raymond loved you and the special relationship that you shared.
I am very grateful that we had the opportunity to spend quality time together in his final months which allowed us to rebuild our close bond. I will always remember the time we spent together in Brisbane and I am very pleased that I could fulfill his final wish that he come home to Rockhampton prior to his death.
I will miss you Raymond, but know that you are now in a safe and loving place with Gary, Mum and Dad. Until we meet again….your loving sister Lyn.