By Sheila Venz
Ray Drynan was born on 12 February 1928.
He was one of four children – brothers, Basil and Jack and sister, Joy. Like so many of that period in time Jack went off to war and was killed in action.
Ray had an alert mind and never wasted time.
He always seemed to be in a rush to go someplace or get some job done.
It seemed that he would never grow old.
However, age did eventually catch up with him. It was in 2017 he made the decision to leave his beloved Telemon Crossing and move to Elysium Village in Beaudesert.
Few would know that he was quite musical.
As a child he would travel to Beaudesert on his pushbike for his lesson; on completion he would buy a pie with the shilling his father had given him and then ride home again (a distance of about 20 kilometres one way).
Ray married the very attractive Jessica Markwell from Kerry in 1953 and they were married for 63 years, until Jessica’s passing.
Both the Drynan and Markwell families were involved in campdrafting. Good horses were the pride and joy of the families and it helped to have a competitive determination.
Ray and Jessica had a love of rural life and of breeding fine cattle and horses. When the children came along, they joined the Beaudesert and District Horse & Pony Club where Ray served as president in 1972 and vice president in 1973. All three children rode with distinction with the club as did some of his grandchildren.
Both Jessica and Ray were rusted-on Country Party/National Party members and Jessica served as president of the Beaudesert Women’s Branch and also as Zone Vice-President of Gold Coast Women.
Ray always supported Jessica in her fund-raising pursuits for the Party and some wonderful occasions were held at various local venues or at the home at Telemon Crossing.
At election times Ray was always enthusiastically looking for the best vantage points on which to display a corflute or two for the local Member.
He represented the local dairy industry as a member of the Logan and Albert Co-operative Board for 18 years, 12 of those as Chairman.
Times change and in 1980 the Drynan dairies moved to the South Coast Dairies (Dairyfields) where Ray chaired the supply group until 2002.
Ray was a farmer through and through.
He and Jessica took great pride in their property with fences painted and dairy looking spick and span.
He was a good farmer and was meticulous in his record keeping.
He competed at the local Beaudesert show but his ability was proven by the many prizes he was awarded at the Brisbane Ekka – pasture competitions, prime beef exhibitions, dairy competitions and of course in a number of horse events.
However, as it was once said, “If you want someone to do a job for you, find a busy man because he is the only one who has the time”.
Ray was an active member of Rotary for 20 years and later a member of Probus for almost 20 years.
He was an active member of the Beaudesert Show Society for more than 60 years and Vice President from 1970 to 1986 and President for the next ten years.
He was the leader of the Beaudesert Campdraft Committee from 1968 to 1986, and for many years acted as ring announcer, not only at Beaudesert but other local shows, campdrafts and a State Pony Club Showjumping competition held at the Beaudesert showgrounds.
Ray served on the Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board from 1955 until 1994, serving in the position of chairman for eleven years.
He was a member of the Logan River Advisory Board since the late 1960s, fully understanding the importance of good reliable irrigation water and its value to farmers.
Ray Drynan passed away on 3 May, 2022 and I imagine he and Jessica are reunited sitting on a verandah looking over a lush, green valley.
They will probably be chatting with their many friends about the horses and dogs they once owned and the many wonderful times they had living in the country south of Beaudesert.