Vale – Ray McInnes

by Bowls ACT on February 6, 2023

Bowls ACT are saddened by the passing of former president and long-time servant of the game Ray McInnes.

Ray McInnes was a Board member of Bowls ACT (and before that, the Men’s Association of ACT Bowls) for more than 40 consecutive years since the inception of the organisation in the ACT. Prior to that, he was on the Board of the ‘Federal District of Monaro’ the Bowls NSW region covering this area. He resigned in 2019 due to ill health, aged 88.

This service extended for over 40 years, a feat unlikely to have been bettered anywhere in the Australian Bowls community, and quite possibly in any sporting body in the ACT. For his services, Ray was awarded Life Membership, an honor given to a rare few.

Ray was also known throughout the association for his knowledge and commitment to maintaining quality greens for the benefit of all members. He has travelled many thousands of miles as he visited every member club and assessed every green each year. He provided advice and support to our greenkeepers, on growing conditions, turf maintenance and water conservation, skills that no other member possesses.

One of Rays passions was editing and producing the Quarterly Bowls Journal. He worked tirelessly with publicity officers from clubs to produce informative and enjoyable content for readers across the  region. Of course, he also provided much content for the various columnists of The Canberra Times, when Bowls was a regular feature. Sadly, the change to a more instant form of media saw the eventual cessation of the Journal in 2012. Ray also gained national prominence with two stints as President, and later Patron, of the Past Presidents Association.

Ray was also the first to volunteer at a range of community events: Disability Expos, Lords Taveners Day, NAIDOC events, the Centenary of Canberra Celebrations, ActSport and many more. In 2010 he was awarded the “Spirit of Canberra Award” for his continued volunteer services. He was recognised by the Australian Sports Commission for his coaching under the “Active After School Communities Program”.

As a player, Ray also triumphed! He was the 37th Representative player for the ACT, representing in 1986 against NSW and then again in 1987 at the Equivalent of the current National Sides event. He won numerous ACT and Club championships, as was a member of many a pennant grand finalists.

Bowls ACT send condolences to his family & friends. He will be greatly missed.