Ray Edwards – Generational Honour

Ray Edwards.
Ray Edwards.

Ray Edwards is a man with stories to tell.

Many would know him around town as he is a great believer of preserving Beaudesert’s regional heritage.

He moved to Beaudesert after his uncle and aunt Ken and Beryl Hooper bought a dairy farm in Veresdale during the early 1970s.

But what some may not know is that he is part of the 14th Mudgeeraba Lighthorse Troop and has been since 1987.

“I’d moved down to the Gold Coast and I went to the Mudgeeraba Show and the Lighthorse were there,” Ray said.

“I thought ‘what a great thing to keep going, it’s part of our heritage’ and that’s where it all started.”

Ray attended many events with the Lighthorse Troop including travelling to New Zealand in 1994 and South Africa in 1999.

He also joined the 2001 Calgary Stampede, the 90th Anniversary of Beersheba in 2007, and the Calgary Stampede Centenary in 2012.

“They had a 100th anniversary, where we rode in our father’s footsteps, exactly where they rode,” Ray said.

Ray tends to enjoy the adrenaline inducing sports days where they hold many events dedicated to Lighthorse.

“The thrill of it, the excitement of it, gets the adrenaline pumping,” he said.

“It was something unique, what we did, where we went.”

His great grandfather Tom “Tommy” Edwards, fought in World War I, where the Lighthorse originated.

“He was from the 215 New South Wales Bushmen – that’s what they called him then,” he said.

“They were the beginning of what would then become the Lighthorse.”

Ray has created a wall full of memories, which he calls the ‘Wall of Fame’, where a portrait of his great grandfather resides with a trophy that he won in 1904 in a show jumping competition.

“My cousin had his portrait, and another cousin had his cup. When my cousin passed away, his friends gave me the portrait, and later on they said my other cousin had the cup,” Ray said.

“So I reunited both of them together.”

He also has a special portrait of himself with his horse Shicane at Elephant Rock after attending a meet and greet following an Anzac Dawn Service on the Coast.

“A newspaper reporter from the Melbourne paper came and asked to take a photo. I said, ‘you let me know when you want to take it and I’ll show you something,” he said.

“When he said ‘yeah, alright’, I just leaned forward with my heels and tapped Shicane on the shoulders and he stands straight up.”

“He stands like that until I put my hand on his neck, then he went down.”

Ray continues to be a part of the Lighthorse troops and hopes to preserve the honour it has in the regional community.

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