Ron was born in Balclutha in 1928, the first of the six children. He finished high school on a Thursday during his fifth year and started work in the BNZ the following Monday. This had been set up by his father, though he wanted to become a school teacher.
However, in 1956 Ron was accepted into Knox Theological College. He then managed to attend the School of Social Science at VUW where Presbyterian Support Services Association assisted him to do a Diploma in Social Science. He and Helen were married in December 1958 after his graduation from Knox College, and Helen’s from Medical School.
In 1967 with four children and another on the way the family moved to the parish of Porirua East, part of a cooperative set-up of Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist and Pacific Island churches. In response to community needs he led the development of the Cannon’s Creek Opportunity Centre with an Op Shop in the ground floor while Helen later did medical work at Porirua hospital.
In 1979 Ron went to Stokes Valley Presbyterian parish. Study leave for both took Ron and Helen to Australia, Britain and Canada. Helen was subsequently appointed to the Commonwealth Secretariat and they moved to London in late 1990. On their return they settled back in their Linden house and became involved in Tawa Union parish (and, by extension, U3A) life. Many valuable U3A courses came out of there with Ron’s help. Ron was also a leader in the development of the Men’s shed in Tawa – which is now well established.
Ron died on Christmas day 2019 and will be deeply missed by many, many people both in Tawa and around New Zealand.