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Mr John Kent of the Naval and Mariners Association lays flowers in memory of his departed mate, Roger Jones. Photo by Mick Birtles
Mr John Kent of the Naval and Mariners Association lays flowers in memory of his departed mate, Roger Jones. Photo by Mick Birtles

It says so much about a person's contribution to society when even many years after they have left town, community members come together to celebrate their life.

Clearly Roger Jones' contribution was great.

Roger is perhaps best remembered in the Nambucca Valley as a former secretary/manager of the Bowraville & District Ex-Services Club.

Sadly Roger passed away last week in Maclean where he and his wife, Cheryl, have been residing for the past eight years.

Roger had served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a stoker until he was medically discharged; however, he never lost his passion for the RAN and was central to beginning a branch of the Naval Association in the area and leading the formation of the Naval and Mariners Association in the Nambucca Valley.

Roger took pride in knowing the Naval and Mariners Association was still going strong long after he left the valley for family reasons.

The Naval and Mariners Association was established to bring together for mutual camaraderie, former and serving members of the RAN and former and serving members of the Australian Merchant Marine and other Professional Maritime Services.

There are many here in the district who will confirm the camaraderie enjoyed by members of this organisation is very important to their general well-being.

Friends of Roger Jones gather at the Bowraville & District Ex-Services Club to remember a man who did so much for the community. Photo by Mick Birtles

Friends of Roger Jones gather at the Bowraville & District Ex-Services Club to remember a man who did so much for the community. Photo by Mick Birtles

On Wednesday a small service was conducted in his memory in the front of the Bowraville Ex-Services Club.

It was attended by representatives from the RSL Sub Branches of Bowraville, Macksville and Nambucca Heads, members of the Naval and Mariners Association, members of the community and a number of Roger's old friends.

President of the Bowraville RSL Sub Branch, Mr Jim Cameron OAM, spoke to the group about Roger's legacy and a bouquet of flowers was laid at the memorial in front of the club by Mr John Kent on behalf of the Naval and Mariners Association.

In true military tradition, the last post was played followed by the Ode and Reveille.

Those present then adjourned into the club where fond memories of Roger were shared.

Some of Roger's mates stated, "Roger was more Navy than anyone they knew". He was also fondly remembered for instigating groups such as the Bowraville Ex-Services Fishing Club as well as the Traveling Bowlers just to name a few.

Roger was remembered as a man who got things done, was passionate about his community and believed in keeping an eye on the welfare of fellow veterans.

He was equally as proactive in the Clarence Valley community over the past eight years and will be as well remembered there as he is in the Nambucca Valley.

A good man gone too soon but his positive impact on the veterans' community in the district will live on.