Farewell to a much loved Walcha community leader

SPIRITS OF AUSTRALIA: The late Ruth Cotterill (who was a life member and patron of the Walcha Cricket Club for more than 40 years) with fellow OAM recipient and former Walcha News editor the late Blue Hogan. Photo supplied.

SPIRITS OF AUSTRALIA: The late Ruth Cotterill (who was a life member and patron of the Walcha Cricket Club for more than 40 years) with fellow OAM recipient and former Walcha News editor the late Blue Hogan. Photo supplied.

Ruth Louise Cotterill OAM, formerly of Hill Street Walcha and the Apsley Riverview Hostel passed away at 'Calvary' Nursing Home in Cessnock last Sunday.

She would have been 90 in November.

After arriving in Walcha in the early 1970s with her husband Ron ( who worked for NSW State Forests), along with their three sons Geoffrey, Paul and John it didn't take Ruth long to become an active member of the community.

'Mrs Cotts' (as she was affectionately known) was soon involved with the Walcha P&C Ladies Auxiliary, the Scout Association, Junior Indoor Hockey, Swimming Club and the Cricket Association. She was also a member of the Bicentenary Church of England Restoration and Walcha Youth Club Committees.

During her community service career, Ruth also clocked up a number of committee life memberships. She was a life member of the Walcha Junior Indoor Hockey Association, the Royal Far West Children's' Health Scheme, Walcha Cricket Association, Northern Tablelands Cricket Association and the Walcha Rugby Union Cricket Club.

On top of that Ruth was awarded Sports Administrator of the Year in 1983 at the annual Walcha Australia Day celebrations and then a few years later in 1988 had an Order of Australia Medal bestowed on her for services to not only the Walcha community but also Dungog.

It is people like this throughout the country who quietly work for their community that make this nation great

former Rugby League professional and young NSW Australian of the Year recipient Corey Payne

Before moving to Walcha in 1971, Ruth was a member of the Dungog Mother's Club and the P&C Association up until the time she left the district.

Ruth was a foundation member of the Dungog School Boys Rugby League Auxiliary where she served for ten years before awarded life membership.

After the Rugby Union Cricket Club folded here in Walcha 'Mrs Cott' moved camp to the Round Swamp Cricket Club where she was their 'chief scorer' for many years.

Scoring was her real forte and along with Helen Sweeney, Ruth was the neatest scorer in at least the last fifty years.

Ruth was secretary of the Walcha Cricket Association from 1978/79 to 2003/04 a total of 26 seasons and has been patron since.

Back in 1978, Ruth took on the job of secretary after Graham Croker moved a no-confidence motion on then secretary Irwin Brazel before nominating her for the job.

The person who seconded the nomination was none other than Irwin Brazel.

At the Walcha Australia Day breakfast in 2014 our guest Australia Day ambassador, former professional rugby league footballer Corey Payne, referenced Ruth when he explained how lucky he felt to be born in Australia and to be named Young NSW Australian of the Year in the year prior.

"I met Ruth Cotterill at dinner last night, she holds six life memberships and is a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal," Mr Payne said.

"It is people like this throughout the country who quietly work for their community that make this nation great."

May Ruth Louise Cotterill OAM rest in peace.

Ruth will be farewelled at a private family cremation on a date still to be fixed.

This story Vale Ruth Louise Cotterill OAM 1929 - 2019 first appeared on Walcha News.