Ronald Clarence Chesher.
Affectionately known as simply Ronnie Chesher and to many the name will say it all. His contribution to Moruya will continue into the decades ahead.
For the Moruya Business Chamber, formally called the Moruya & District Chamber of Commerce, there will be few with such notable credentials as Ronnie. He was a terrier with a dogged fighting instinct for anything Moruya and certainly his input into the early days of the Chamber were formidable.
The Chamber has its roots back to 1974 when John James created a constitution and by laws on a strange old typewriter with only a capital letters font and from here the Chamber commenced and has never been in recess since. Much of the dogged determination to make Moruya the shopping precinct of the Shire can be credited in a large part to Ron Chesher.
In the early days the Chamber had many dealings with our Shire Council and Ronnie was always one to be quick to keep the executive on track and going forward, not getting side tracked and to be polite and courteous with our dealings with all Government instrumentalities no matter how frustrating some of those conversations were.
The major project back then was carparking for our town and many people remark even today at how well Moruya is serviced by carparks. It was always made clear that the towns carparks were to be fully funded and would never attract meters or fees and over all the years that has been the case. Car parks were a central issue in the Jack Wickham administration years. Ronnie, as part of the executive at that time, helped the Chamber work closely with Jack for the betterment of the town and progress was easy and beneficial.
The 80’s was the era of the push for a Tollway from Queanbeyan to the Coast. Ronnie was one of the strongest supporters of the proposal and spent many hours working with the executive and the Canberra Regional development group to find and settle on a route via Runnyford that would have made a 50-minute commute to the coast possible. Such was his foresight. The project was unfortunately thwarted by the proposed $10 each direction toll. What an enormous difference to life style, Eurobodalla development and the huge saving of lives and associated costs on the Kings Highway since.
His input at Chamber meetings brought an extremely wide set of views as part of his wide community involvement from Supermarket proprietor, Surf Club, Rotary, Town Band, Swimming Pool, Golf Club and RSL to name just a few of the irons this giant of a man had in his community. He was the true epitome of a green thumb and it would be hard to guess the number of trees and shrubs he and life partner Heather planted, watered and nurtured in the various parks and avenues around town.
His massive campaign to extend the golf course to 18 holes and then recruiting locals to plant 1000 trees demonstrates his is forward thinking and gives the course the charm and challenge enjoyed today.
Moruya has lost a very proud Australian, a staunch advocate for all things right and proper in the world and a community and business man that most can only aspire to come close to.
RIP Ronnie Chesher, your legacy will long live on .. thank you.