, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 22, 2013

Salisbury Town Meeting honors moderator for years of service

SALISBURY — Ron Ray has stood as a symbol of community spirit in town for decades, and on Monday night the town got to say “thank you.”

Ray was caught off guard by Monday night’s tribute, for he was attending his first Town Meeting in 30 years at which he hadn’t been at the Town Moderator’s podium. Ray, 76, retired as moderator this year, feeling it was time to step aside, but according to selectmen, they couldn’t let him go without honoring the good work he’s done in town.

Serving 30 years at Town Moderator gives Ray the record for holding the job, Selectman Henry Richenburg told a well-packed Town Meeting. But Ray had been providing service to his hometown for longer than that, Richenburg said, and is still active on Salisbury’s Harbor Commission and as an assistant Harbor Master.

A retired school financial administrator, Ray has been married for 48 years to his wife, Yvonne, and is the father of three, who learned from his actions what it takes to be a good citizen.

“He was such a role model, we learned from his example,” said Ray’s daughter Ronalee Ray-Parrott, who is the chairwoman of Salisbury’s Parks and Recreation Commission. “When I was seven my father became a baseball coach in town and later he served as president of Salisbury’s Little League. He’s just always been involved in our community.”

According to Richenburg, Ray may have retired from the job of Town Moderator, but he’s still committed to Salisbury, the town he loves.

“He never stops giving sound advice or words of encouragement,” Richenburg said. “He exemplifies what community spirit means.”

Town Meeting agreed, giving Ray two, long lasting standing ovations.

Clearly moved, Ray rose to accept two certificates, one from the Board of Selectmen, and another from the state House of Representatives.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Special Features