They said he'd never make it, but Ray is 60

FOR someone who was not supposed to survive his fifth year, Ray Munro looks pretty good.

The well-known sportsman and campaigner for people with disabilities celebrated his 60th birthday at Boambee Creek Reserve yesterday surrounded by friends and family.

His mother, 79-year-old Betty Munro recalled the torture of having her first child struck down with polio and being told he would not survive his fifth year.

"He was so fit and healthy but you wouldn't believe how quickly he was struck down," Mrs Munro said.

"That is why I am always preaching to people about inoculation.

"I heard recently that someone was diagnosed with polio in Perth."

Childhood polio left Ray Munro a paraplegic but also turned him into a passionate activist for people with disabilities and did not dim his passion for sport.

Although he has had to give up playing basketball and is no longer involved in archery or weightlifting, a sport in which he won medals, he still coaches wheelchair basketball, which he established in Coffs Harbour and he remains an active benchrest shooter.

Ray Munro, who lives at Toormina with his wife Sue, works for a number of advocacy and access committees and groups and has been associated with a number of high-profile campaigns to make life less difficult and more fun for people with disabilities.

He has also been involved in other community projects, including serving as El Presidente of the Banana Republic a tourism project which used stunts and events to promote Coffs Harbour tourism.

"I am very proud of everything he has achieved for himself and others not just those in wheelchairs," Betty Munro said.

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