Tweed community farewells Ronald

Ronald Johansen
Ronald Johansen

ONE of the Tweed's favourite sons, Ronald Johansen, passed away peacefully on August 20 and was laid to rest on August 24 following a funeral ceremony at All Saints Anglican Church.

Ron was 89 when he died from a cerebral stroke at Murwillumbah Hospital's palliative care unit, where he spent his final days surrounded by family.

Ron's wife Norma said on the day Ron fell ill, he was getting ready to go into town and told her he had a headache.

Ron asked Norma for some painkillers but when they didn't seem to make any difference and he started to look worse, Norma called an ambulance.

Following Ron's arrival at Murwillumbah Hospital and after a number of tests, doctors informed the family that a full recovery was unlikely.

Ron was then moved to the hospital's palliative care unit.

Mrs Johansen said one of the last things Ron said to her was in answer to her question 'how he was feeling' to which Ron replied "like a shag on a rock".

Ron and Norma spent 61 years together as husband and wife, and Ron was just about to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Mrs Johansen said the family was grateful it had the opportunity to spend the final days of Ron's life at his sid.

This meant his three sons, Robert, Gary and Brett and daughter Debra were able to say goodbye.

On the day of Ron's funeral and as a sign of respect, the flags at Murwillumbah's Civic Centre were flown at half mast.

Ron's contribution to the Tweed community spans many decades.

It includes his work on behalf of the local historical society, the Tweed River Agricultural Show Society, the Showground Trust, the Murwillumbah and District Tourist Association and the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Ron ran the family farm for many years and tough times forced him to reinvent the dairy farm which became a cattle breeding farm where he also grew bananas and raised pigs.

Ron was well-known for his remarkable knowledge of the Tweed and wrote 12 published volumes on the region's history, titled 'Tales of our Times'.

Ron also organised historic walks around Murwillumbah, during which he talked about such events as the 1978 Bank of New South Wales robbery and the 1954 floods.

Ron also worked as agricultural assistant at Murwillumbah High School and in 2007 was awarded the OAM for services to history and the local community.

In 2011 Ron was made a Heritage Hero for his contribution to heritage conservation in NSW.

However, Ron's daughter Debra said her father's proudest achievement was seeing all his children gain university degrees.

Topics:  community funeral murwillumbah stalwart

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