VALE Ray Martin

28 April 2017

Royal Life Saving Society WA would like to acknowledge the recent passing of Ray Martin, a long-time member of the Australian, and specifically Western Australian aquatic and lifesaving community.

Ray first became involved in a swimming club at Pascoe Vale in Victoria as a 6 year old in 1929, and by the time he reached his teens was fostered by the local Pool Manager to assist with the maintenance of the pool’s plant and equipment. He soon progressed to a lifeguarding role when he was old enough.

Ray was encouraged to join Royal Life Saving as a teenager in 1939, and eventually became an instructor, examiner and coach. He later gained employment as the Camberwell Swimming Centre Manager in Melbourne.

Joyce and Ray Martin with their sons Ray Junior and JohnRay and his wife Joyce then moved to Western Australia, where he took on the role as the first manager of Beatty Park. At Beatty Park he instigated the delivery of the first training courses for both Pool Managers and prospective life guards. The need for training developed as more pools where opened in the Wheat Belt and South West of WA, and many individuals where trained in plant operations and water management under Ray’s guidance at Beatty Park.

Ray's Lifeguard training courses were legendary, especially as he made participants enter the balance tank at Beatty Park (which was underground) and then rescue someone who had fallen in to simulate an emergency. He also made the participants jump off the top tower and rescue someone on the bottom of the diving pool.

He not only developed the skills of prospective pool managers but also taught the local Environmental Health Inspectors how to undertake water testing of pools and interpret the results. Ray continued his relationship with Royal Life Saving in WA, becoming the Assistant Chief Instructor and Member of the Board. When his family moved to Dalwallinu Ray continued as a representative for that region, conducting lifesaving competitions in the area.

Ray, with the dedicated support of his wife Joyce, has made an incredible impression on the aquatic industry across Australia and Ray was most suitably honored when presented with and the Order of Australia Medal for his services to the aquatics industry.

They have also left a family of Pool Mangers who carry on the Martin name with both Ray Jnr and John managing pools in Western Australia. The Royal Life Saving Society and the Aquatic Industry in Australia owe a great deal to Ray Martin, who can clearly be seen as a leader in the industry, and a person who has made Australia a better place.

On behalf of the Royal Life Saving Society WA we extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to Ray Martin’s family during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.

(Special thanks to LIWA Aquatics Executive Officer Tony Head for information contained in this story)