Plaque unveiled in honour of Ray Turner

A quiet achiever who dedicated more than three decades to the community of Maraylya has been remembered with the unveiling of a plaque and a tree planted in his name.

Ray Turner, who passed away in April of this year, and his wife Betty lived just around the corner from the local tennis courts in Dunns Road and both looked after the courts as volunteers for more than 35 years.

Memorial: Betty Turner helps plant a tree at the Maraylya tennis courts in honour of her late husband, Ray. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Memorial: Betty Turner helps plant a tree at the Maraylya tennis courts in honour of her late husband, Ray. Picture: Geoff Jones.

When they began, there was just one clay court that required hours of attention, including line marking and sweeping, but gradually another court was added and both were sealed.

The Maraylya Progress Association stated the couple enjoyed looking after the courts, and consistently showed enormous community spirit doing so.

“Maraylya Progress Association thought it necessary to acknowledge the true Maraylya spirit which has been shown by Ray Turner over the past few decades until his passing in April,” a statement from the association said.

“Rain, shine or hail he would be up at the courts fixing fences sweeping or painting lines.

“Ray and his wife Betty as a volunteers collected all the fees for court hire, paid the electricity bills, brought and replaced the nets maintained the fencing and much more.

“Ray and Betty are what you call quiet achievers and that’s why we organised … to thank his family and help Maraylya Progress Association and the 50 quests plant a tree and unveil a plaque.”

The event took place on Thursday, August 16 and was attended by Hawkesbury Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett, as well as Betty Turner and members of the Turner family. 

“Ray and Betty Turner embody the spirit of community spirit in their dedication to maintaining and managing the community tennis courts at Maraylya for 35 years,” Cr Lyons-Buckett said.

“They have made a significant contribution to the Hawkesbury community and we thank them so much for that. I am pleased to have been able to honour Ray’s memory by being a part of the tree planting and the plaque unveiling.

“The positioning of the plaque overlooking the courts is very apt. Council offers its condolences to Rays family on his passing and our thanks for their contribution to our area.”

An afternoon tea took place in the nearby, with guests staying to enjoy company and a chat for hours afterwards.