AS a newspaperman, Ray Leeson had his finger on the pulse through a long list of community involvements.
His connections were a valuable news source but his motives were entirely altruistic.
Mr Leeson became a foundation member of Goulburn Legacy from 1947, soon after returning from World War Two.
For the next 12 years and resuming his membership in 1988, he looked after numerous Legacy widows. President Greg Seaman said on Saturday that his friend had made an “untold contribution” to the organisation.
“(Due to his health) he had to go on to our reserve list last year and it broke his heart. He always looked forward to meetings,” he said.
“He was a quality person who treated everyone equally, which is a big thing. He will be sadly missed by a lot of people.”
Fellow Legatee, Lance Cooke, also 90, said he and Crookwell man Morrie Wood were the only two World War Two veterans remaining in Goulburn Legacy now.
He met Mr Leeson in the Air Training Corp in 1942/43. Mr Cooke trained as a flight mechanic and Mr Leeson as a wireless operator.
“Legacy was very close to his heart,” Mr Cooke said.
“He’d never go to a Legacy meeting without a suit, tie and his pin. Even one year when we decided on casual dress at a Christmas party, he wouldn’t break that policy.”
But he also loved sport, playing cricket, hockey, rugby league and golf.
Mr Leeson was a skilled wicket keeper and played in the Goulburn Cricket competition from 1940. He was captain of the Colts Club, Goulburn Burns Cup XI and went on to represent NSW Country against City at Sydney Cricket Ground in 1955.
One of his three ‘victims’ behind the stumps was Norm O’Neill, who later represented Australia.
Mr Leeson also captained Southern NSW against the West Indies at Seiffert Oval in 1961, when 5000 people watched the one-day match.
At age 55, he was still playing first-grade cricket.
Thanks to his suggestion, a cricket museum comprising much of the memorabilia he collected was opened at Seiffert Oval in 1994.
In September, 2005 he was made patron of Goulburn Golf Club, recognising his 60th year as a competition player.
Mr Leeson enjoyed his golf well into his retirement.
Among his other community achievements were:
• Member of Goulburn Rotary Club for 36 years and awarded its highest honour, a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2007;
• Member of Goulburn Apex Club 1946-64, including president 1955-56;
• Goulburn Youth Welfare committee;
• Goulburn Cricket Association member and helped form the Junior Cricket Association;
• Goulburn RSL Sub Branch member;
• Lilac Time Hall grand piano committee;
• Director Goulburn Base Hospital Board 1989 -1993;
• Director Goulburn Health Service 1988-1991;
• Member Southern Regional Development Council, 1980s-1990s;
• Member Goulburn Chamber of Commerce;
• Involvement in Goulburn Meals on Wheels for 10 years.
• Justice of the Peace for 40 years.