Ask Ron Ray anything about the history of Bella Vista Farmhouse and he will regale you with tales of old about the property’s history.

He has been a Friend of Bella Vista since its inauguration 15 years ago.

On Australia Day Ronald Kenneth Ray was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for Service to the Community through a range of roles. He is particularly honoured to be recognised for his volunteer work. It came as a complete surprise to him. But the Friends of Bella Vista Farm have been more than aware of Ron’s service to the community.

He firmly believes that the history and heritage of many of our well-known organisations would be lost without volunteers. Every second Friday since 2007, Ron has guided at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour. He takes visitors onto the “Onslow”, an Oberon Class Submarine and the “Vampire”, a Daring Class Destroyer.

In 2014, he decided it would be interesting for community organisations to invite specialists to talk at events and so he co-founded the Speakers’ Group of the Maritime Museum. They are now doing over 100 talks a year. There are around 30 types of talks and Ron specialises in Bass and Flinders; Cook and The Endeavour; the Emden Battle and the Midget Submarine Attack in Sydney Harbour in 1942.

Another interest of Ron’s is the Sydney Harbour Federation Trustfor which he has guidedsince 2009. Fascinating locations include Cockatoo Island, Middle Head/ Georges Heights, North Head and the Macquarie Lighthouse.

He volunteers once a fortnight taking tours through the tunnels and fortifications dating back to the Second World War His other interests are in the NSW Corps of Marines and re-enactment groups, a volunteer for Royal Australian Historical Company for five years and a JP for 40 years.

As you can tell, Ron believes in giving back to the community. “It keeps me active, I meet new people, I’m always busy and the flexibility it gives me is great”.

Bella Vista Farm family is delighted to have Ron in our midst and we congratulate him for his contribution to our community.

Bella Vista Farm has an open day on the first Sunday of the month from 9am to 2pm.

The entrance to Bella Vista Farm is on Elizabeth Macarthur Drive, Bella Vista.

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