The ranks of Dubbo's community stalwarts have been diminished greatly by the unexpected passing of retired solicitor, 84-year-old Ray Nolan.
His death at his Dubbo home earlier this week has shocked and saddened the community, and family including three daughters.
Orana Law Society president Andrew Boog, Dubbo Show Society secretary Sue Hood and Dubbo Turf Club general manager Vince Gordon are among the people paying tribute to Mr Nolan.
Mr Boog has spoken of a "larger-than-life" man who did much for the city.
"He was heavily involved in just about everything that moved," Mr Boog said.
"He didn't sit around waiting for someone else to take the initiative."
Mr Nolan's involvement ranged from a term on the former Dubbo City Council to ensuring the vulnerable were fed as a director on the board of Meals on Wheels Dubbo.
His many roles included honorary solicitor of the show society for more than 25 years; assistant governor in Rotary District 9670; committee member of Dubbo CYMS Rugby League Club, and honorary solicitor for Group 11 Rugby League and Western Division.
Mr Nolan and others drove the construction of Dubbo's Macquarie Home Stay where ill and injured regional residents can rest their heads.
His passion for horse racing benefited the turf club where he held numerous positions including president for eight years.
He was also a member of the former Australian Jockey Club Tribunal.
A life member of the Orana Law society, Mr Nolan worked as a solicitor at Dubbo from 1969 until 2019.
For decades he ran R.J. Nolan & Co with late wife Maureen its office manager. Her premature death "kicked the daylights out of him", Mr Boog said.
He said Mr Nolan had a "commanding presence", particularly in court.
"The practice of the law was such an important part of his life," Mr Boog said.
Mrs Hood called Mr Nolan "stoic, reliable and wise".
"He guided us in the right direction," she said.
"There will be many people who will miss Ray.
"He was very much part of our social fabric."
The turf club also bestowed life membership on Mr Nolan who stepped up when it was in trouble.
Mr Gordon said Mr Nolan was a "passionate club man and industry supporter".
"People who contribute like Ray, they don't come along every day," Mr Gordon said before revealing Mr Nolan had booked a table at this year's Derby Day.
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