Wednesday, 30 December 2015

50 years on Bribie - 2005 - Stella Ray

50 years on Bribie Island - Stella Ray

The Bongaree Heritage Trail signs record those few residents who, in 2005, were still living on Bribie Island after 50 years or more continuous residence. Each, in their own way, has made a lasting contribution to the island's community.  Sally Brennan nee Herbert, Ted and Patricia Clayton, The Kling Family, Frank Lee, Betty Lougheed, Stella Ray, Ivan and Clare Tesch and Margo Whitney.

The following excerpt is from the Program for the Official unveiling "50 years on Bribie" Heritage Trail Sign, Wednesday 7 November 2007, Brennan Park, Bongaree.

Stella Ray
50 years on Bribie - 2005 - Stella Ray
Photo: Barry Clark
Stella Ray (nee Aroney) was born in Brisbane in 1919 and came to Bribie Island when she married her ex-soldier husband Percival after the War in 1946. They brought two small second hand ex-army huts by ship to the Island and erected them on land purchased at Spowers Street for £25.  Stella and Percival were among only a few hundred permanent Island residents at that time and lived in these huts without electricity, water or sewerage for 33 years until they built a modest new home on the same block in 1980. The army huts were only demolished in 2004.

They caught yabbies and ran a boat hire business for the tourists as their daughter Glenda grew up.  Stella worked over the next 40 years in the boarding houses, caf├ęs and take-away shops, which opened for the growing tourist trade.  The Rays never owned a motor car, but Stella was a familiar sight riding her bicycle around the Island for over 30 years before she was badly injured when hit by a car at age 75.  Percival Ray died in 2004.  Stella Ray recovered from her accident and still lives an active life after more than 59 years continuous residence on Bribie Island.

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