Loved local legends farewelled

A ‘Harley Hearse’ carrying Ron Wilson on his final ride was followed from the Stanthorpe Showgrounds by a cavalcade of lovingly-restored vintage cars and bikes on Monday. Among them was Ron''s own prized vehicle collection, driven by family and friends.

By Casey O'Connor

What a summer it has been so far – hot temperatures and some hot sporting results.

The Australian cricketers have shown us glimpses of better days with a couple of wins, while the BBL caravan rolls on seemingly incessantly. I wonder how much is too much of the Barge and Bash.

The tennis scene has the usual suspects making fools of themselves on the word stage again. On a more positive note we seem to have an up and coming group of potential stars who understand there is more to playing at the elite level than whacking a ball and whining or disrespecting people. Refreshing to see these gutsy young kids coming through the ranks with such a great attitude and respect for the game.

Everyone’s favourite, Federer, has been ousted in an upset at the Aussie Open but the Barty Party has us all enthralled early in finals week.

In Stanthorpe, the community has been rocked by the deaths of two much loved characters, Dick Mahoney and Ron Wilson.

Dick Mahoney, who was named in the Allora Rugby League Team of the Century alongside the famous Phelan brothers, lost his battle with illness quite unexpectedly. He was farewelled last week by a big crowd at St Joseph’s Church. Mahoney was a former publican at the Country Club and Newsagent in Stanthorpe and was remembered as a true gentleman with a passion for his family, community, sport and statistics.

There are so few of his mettle left among us and he will be sadly missed by all those who knew him.

The community is also reeling from the loss of well known motoring – car and bike – enthusiast Ron Wilson, who died suddenly. He was farewelled on Monday by an estimated 1000 friends and colleagues at a service held at the Stanthorpe Showgrounds. Ron Wilson was a successful businessman, a true character and from an early age until his untimely death a motoring enthusiast.

Wilson will also be remembered as a passionate supporter and participant in many Endeavour Rallies. There were plenty of tales to be told of his bike, car and travel exploits on Monday.

In a mark of the respect with which he was held, a huge cavalcade of vintage cars and bikes accompanied Ron and the ‘Harley Hearse’ on his final ride.

These are two men whose positions in the community can never be replaced, but it is their families who will feel their loss the most and we extend our deepest sympathy to them.

We hope for happier days ahead in 2019.

Casey

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