One of Tasmania’s busiest and most popular public servants has been fondly remembered today at his packed funeral service which was delayed because of the floods in Hobart.
Ray Earley, 73, was a government courier for 35 years and died from cancer on May 3.
Known as “Pearls” and “Razor” to his many mates, he was seen regularly running between government departments delivering important documents.
He was still working prior to his cancer diagnosis last year.
The secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Jenny Gale, delivered his eulogy and apologised for Premier Will Hodgman who was scheduled to attend the funeral last Friday but was unable to attend on Monday because of travel commitments.
“I pay tribute to a man known to so many, but who in so many ways was mystery to us all,” Ms Gale told the large gathering for his funeral in Hobart.
“As a Government courier, Ray became an institution within the Tasmanian State Service over 35 years and was greatly respected by all who knew him.
“Ray had a very strong work ethic, often having the Government mail sorted before any of his colleagues would arrive, and he didn’t just walk, he ran.
“He endeared himself to workmates throughout his life, with his great sense of humour and quick retorts.”
Ms Gale said Mr Earley showed incredible courage undergoing a total laryngectomy and had refused pain relief the day after in intensive care “preferring to tough it out.”
He was a man of simple tastes and loved his Sydney Swans and the Hobart Workers Club.
Ms Gale said: “He did without the creature comforts of a fridge, stove or microwave, preferring to enjoy meals at Hobart’s local pubs. Heating and cooling were deemed unnecessary.”
Denison Labor MP Scott Bacon paid tribute to Mr Earley in parliament recently.
“The passing of 'Razor' Ray is something that will touch many people in the Tasmanian State Service,” Mr Bacon told parliament.
“Ray was an avid Sydney Swans supporter.
“You could always get Ray into a conversation about the football, even if he was, as he always was, in a hurry to run off and deliver more mail.
“Ray himself, I was informed, was a good player in his own time.”
Mr Bacon said Mr Earley had a strong work ethic and was dedicated to his job.
“He was so dedicated to his job you would often see him not walking the mail around but in fact running it when he was delivering,” he said.
“Ray was a true gentleman and his loss has touched many people in this place (parliament) and across the public service.
“He was a great character in the Tasmanian public service and he will be sadly missed, I am sure, by everyone.”