Born: 24 November 1907 - Royal Hospital for Women, Oxford Street, Paddington, Sydney.
Died: 26 May 1977 (Age 69) – at 14 Pacific Parade, Dee Why, Sydney (his residence).
Buried: 28 May 1977 – Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens, Delhi Road, North Ryde.
Parents: Thomas and Mary Ann Wright (Thomas recorded as deceased on Ray and Flora's Marriage Certificate dated 5 April 1932). Following Ray’s father’s death, his mother remarried one John Mullens. Ray’s mother was always referred to in the family thereafter as “Nanny Mullens”. Family folklore says that Nanny Mullens ran a guest-house named "Kegworth" at 207 Ocean Street, Narrabeen, which specialized in providing young women from Sydney with a seaside holiday.
Childhood: Ray told the author that he was raised on a rural property at Jack’s Creek near the town of Willow Tree in the upper Hunter Valley of NSW, and that the family relocated to Sydney’s Northern Beaches in the 1920s (verification required).
Siblings: Ray’s older brother William Percival (Bill) Wright died on 16 March 1937 in Florence Avenue, Collaroy, electrocuted after treading in a puddle where power lines had been blown down during a storm. Also, Alan Mullens and Reginald Mullens, who were referred to in the family as Uncle Reg and Uncle Alan and were known as Ray’s “brothers”. It is known by the author that Reg and Alan lived with their respective wives/children at Narrabeen in the 1950s/60s.
First Marriage: Ray was married to Mary Brenda (known as Brenda) Hunt in the 1920s in what was then known as a Roman Catholic “Behind the Altar” Service. Brenda was Roman Catholic and Ray told the author that the priest would only agree to marry them (Ray had refused to convert) if they promised to raise their children as Catholics. Ray described the ceremony to the author as an “insult” (his word). He said the service was brief, rushed and garbled and that he hadn’t understood a word of it (it would have been in Latin). Brenda died in childbirth on 12 Feb 1927, giving birth to their only child, Kathleen Blanche (known as Kathy) Wright. Kathy died on 21 Dec 1935, at the age of 8, after being hit by a car on Pittwater Road at Collaroy in Sydney. Both Brenda and Kathy are buried at Manly Cemetery in Sydney.
Second Marriage: Ray married Emily Flora Glover on 5 April 1932 at Manly Registry in Sydney. Emily Flora (known as Flora) was born on 16 July 1911 at Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Sydney. She died on 19 November 1991 at Delmar Private Hospital, Dee Why, Sydney. They lived for most of the first 30 years of their married life at 10 Mactier (sometimes “McTier” spelling) Street, Narrabeen, in Sydney, and in 1967 moved to 14 Pacific Parade at Dee Why in Sydney, where Ray died on 26 May 1977.
Four Sons with Emily Flora: Raymond Colin John (known as John) 1932-2017 (died in Perth), Robert Harry 1937-1982 (died at Terrigal), Alan George b. 19 Jan 1940, Kerry Richard b. 10 Nov 1949. All born in Sydney.
Grandchildren: Eldest son John had two children with wife Frances Carlson: Joanne and Mark, both born in Perth. It is not known if second son Robert married or had children. Third son Alan had three children with wife Pamela Pailthorpe: Susan, Matthew (adopted) and Nicholas, all born in Sydney. Youngest son Kerry never married and had no children.
Military Service during World War II: Pacific Theatre AIF Service Number NX92796. Enlisted 17 March 1942 at Paddington in Sydney. Discharged 14 December 1945 at Paddington in Sydney.
Employment: After relocating to Sydney in the 1920s, Ray worked at various jobs such as delivering bread, delivering milk, and as a golf caddy at Elanora Country Club. At some time, probably after being discharged from the military following World War II, he found employment as a labourer with Warringah Shire Council on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, where he worked his way up to be the Overseer for C-Riding with the Engineers’ Department, located at Brookvale in Sydney.
Author: Kerry Wright
Source: Genealogical research and family archives