What a man! Born in Paddington Ladies Hospital, a long time ago, Ray Rogers epitomises what real men are.
Ray attended Alexandria Public School and secondary school.
Ray's mum, in pursuit of a wartime lover in America, left him standing on the Woolloomooloo wharf at the tender age of 14.
Ray realised pretty quickly that he was on his own and to survive, would have to become street wise very quickly.
He lived at Paddy's Markets, where lots of waifs were found, sleeping and eating as best they could, abandoned, also like Ray, to fend for themselves.
Now you would think this sad start to life would leave a person bitter and angry at society, but not Ray.
He had a good brain and started to use it.
He loved boxing and proved to be very good at it, winning state events even whilst at high school. At age 14, he put his age up so that he could compete in senior events and in doing so, ended up fighting boys of 16, 17 and 18 years.
At Ultimo Tech College he studied engineering and excelled.
Ray didn't have the finances to pay for an apprenticeship, something required before the apprenticeships we know today.
A man who Ray still holds in high regard today, Cec Henry had watched him work on motorcycles and had been so impressed that he offered to pay for Ray's apprenticeship, if he came to work for him. Cec treated Ray as a son and became not only his mentor, but a father figure.
Cec even bought Ray a motor bike to race on the speedway, his other love after boxing. At one stage, Ray owned no less than 27 motor bikes, including an Aerial, a Valletta, a Norton, a Sunbeam, a Lewis, plus many more. He and his mates would go to the Tempe mud flats and practise.
Ray was exceptionally good as a side car swinger; not a swinger at adult parties, but the guy who swings right out on the side of the bike to assist it swing around the corners during a race. A dangerous position to be in, but he loved it.
On one such occasion at the racetrack, Ray met a pretty young girl, just 14, Betty McGrath. Betty was a heel coverer by occupation; who knew such an occupation existed? However, Betty certainly knew, as she covered the heels on ladies shoes. It was love at first sight and the happy couple married four years later in May 1950. If my maths is correct, that makes 69 years this May.
Ray loved dancing, speedway and boxing, so he was lucky to find a beautiful girl who supported him. On their honeymoon, it had been raining hard for several days and one of their happiest memories is of Ray piggy backing Betty through the Kurnell swamp to the accommodation.
They lived with Betty's parents at St Peters for three years ... now that's endurance.
Ray finished his apprenticeship and about the same time, his original place of employment closed. Cec Henry came to his rescue once again and bought out the old Cuttles Chocolates building and turned it into a workshop for Ray. Ray and Betty lived above the workshop and had their family of Wayne, Trevor and Lee there.
Rays engineering career included designing and building transmissions, racing engines, manufacturing marine propellers and anything your imagination can think of.
In 2001, 1040 finalists attended the General Convention of Engineers from all over the world, called the "Salon International Des Inventions".
Ray's medal from that year, as the winning inventor, holds pride of place in their humble home in Mogo.
Ray showed me copies of drawings that he is still working on, just for his own pleasure; transmission drawings that only an engineer would understand and even then, some of them would be scratching their heads, I'm sure.
He is still very active, with a brain that is in top working condition. Although he is no longer able to work due to poor health, Ray's work has brought him in contact with some very famous Australians but Ray, being the humble young chap that he is, prefers not to name drop.
Ray was still swinging out the side of the motor cycle until he was 46, winning races all the time. He raced at Sydney Show ground, Sydney Sports Ground, Melbourne, WA, anywhere that had a race track. I think I may even have seen him as a child at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Ray has a garage like an Aladdin's cave, if you are interested in engineering, but the reason he is such a great man? As well as everything else he has achieved, his wife Betty is now in poor health and this wonderful man, dotes on his beautiful bride as though they were married yesterday.
I asked Ray what advice he had for us: "If you want to do something and you know you will be good at it, do it whilst you are young, don't wait till you are too old and full of regret!"