Replacement medal has Ray so chuffed

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Bunbury man Ray Matthews with his bronze medallion.
Camera IconBunbury man Ray Matthews with his bronze medallion. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

A former member of the City of Bunbury Surf Life Saving Club has received a gift he will “cherish forever”.

Ray Matthews joined the club in the late 1930s. On January 14, 1940, he was given his bronze medallion, which only a few years later he misplaced.

“Ray mentioned to me that he had lost the medallion he earned when he was a young member of the club,” long-time member Ross Ranson said.

“He said he couldn’t find it when he returned from the war in Borneo and we thought with his 100th birthday coming up and our AGM, why not try and track down a replacement.”

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After a lot of work behind the scenes, the club came up with an exact replica.

“Number 15940 was the number of his bronze and we worked out that he was about 19 years old when he got it,” Mr Ranson said.

“We were so grateful for the staff at Surf Life Saving WA who managed to replicate the original bronze medallion. They got it down to us quickly and we were so pleased we were able to present it to Ray at the meeting where he was surrounded by his family and friends.”

Mr Matthews turns 100 in October. With a big smile on his face, he thanked the club. “Thank you all for coming and for arranging this medallion which I will cherish forever,” he said.

Mr Matthews was also joined on the night by great grandchildren Nate, Will and Macy Cooper who, as club members, are continuing his love of sea and sand.

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