Ron Bailey, has managed our X umpires group for the past 14 years and still has a smile on his face! At our last X-umpires luncheon at Caulfield Ron was presented with his Life Time Achievement Award by CEO, Peter Howe on behalf of the association, and he was really smiling.
Ron was unanimously voted to receive the award at our Annual General Meeting in February this year. It was decided to present Ron with his memento at a luncheon surrounded by his peers for whom he has worked so hard for so over many years.
Ron umpired in the VFA before coming straight onto the VFL Senior Panel in 1966, where he umpired 124 VCFL games and 60 mid week games. Ron was a member of the VFLUA Social Committee in 1971 before retiring from umpiring in 1973.
In 2005, when former CEO, Bill Deller OAM took on the role at the AFLUA, he sought out Ron to assist the UA in looking after our older life members many who lived on the Mornington Peninsula. In 2006 Ron started our luncheons at the Mornington Race track. Soon after Ron initiated a Sunday luncheon at the Darebin RSL. What started as a small get together to support our former umpires has morphed into Ron making over 100 phone calls each month and an average lunch group of 30 plus getting together.
However, Ron does much more than that. He has formed many close friendships in his time at the helm. As a JP he is invaluable and in demand. As a friend he makes many hospital visits and talks to many people. An unenviable task is saying goodbye to many older umpires. Ron is the glue that binds our X umpires together. To that end, over 45 X umpires made a special effort to attend Ron’s lunch to recognise the work he has done for the association for more than 15 years.
Ron was awarded Honorary Life Membership in 2010 and now adds a very prestigious award to his collection of memories. In response to his presentation, Ron thanked all of our X umpires for coming along each time a luncheon is arranged and enjoying each other’s company.
Ron is indeed a man who has put aside his own illness and injuries and provided 15 years of selfless service to our association.