The death of Ron “Rocky” McLean on September 15 had a profound effect on a wide cross section of the community he loved and with his passion for bowls in mind some of his mates organised a fun bowls night at the Gunnedah Bowling Club last Friday.

A good crowd turned out to support the fund-raiser, which included five rinks of bowls and a sausage sizzle with the raffle draw of great prizes donated once again by a generous Gunnedah community.

More than $4000 was raised to help the family with ongoing expenses with the final figure yet to be calculated.

Of special interest on the night were Rocky McLean’s scrapbooks of bowling events and happenings collated over many years of interest in the game.

At the end of the evening everyone was invited to the bar to toast Ron McLean with a pony of old beer – his favourite.

Rocky loved a roll-up and it seemed appropriate to his mates Stephen “Butch” Campbell and Keith Millerd that a fun bowls night would be the way to go.

“We just wanted to do something for the family,” Butch said.

“We would like to thank the Gunnedah Stock and Station Agency for its support and everyone who donated raffle prizes so generously or sold tickets and to those who came along on the night.”

As editor of the Namoi Valley Independent from 1979 to 1998 Rocky McLean was an icon in the community, he played tennis and cricket, coached junior tennis for more than 20 years and supported all codes of sport with his enthusiastic articles in the paper.

He also played an integral role in the establishment of the town’s new independently owned newspaper the Gunnedah Times three years ago.

His passion for writing extended to the local historical society, he wrote and published several books on the history of Gunnedah and his name will live on for generations to come.


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