Remembering Ray Webb
January 13, 1928 – January 12, 2008
Ray oh Ray, I asked you not to pester St Peter for his time of birth, but you did. And I believe St Peter replied “not needed here Ray as astrology is the science of God and for your information it is the second oldest profession”. Also St Peter said his boss always gets a laugh when astrologers try to figure out his year of birth let alone the time.
At these times you are supposed to say only nice things. So I made a list of all Ray’s bad characteristics and habits that I should mention, and ended up with a blank page.
Dr. Ray received many astrological awards and accolades from far and wide around the world. Ray being a Tropical astrologer, he even was honoured from India by Manick Chan Jain and Dr Parasmani, and various other Vedic astrologers. Ray was always a gentleman, kind, honourable, honest with a very sharp whimsical sense of humour. Through astrology and commonsense he helped a lot of people and this can be attested from his readers phone calls and emails from friends.
Ray had a great life and became an astrologer just after World War II working at Tooths brewery where he volunteered to do the Sun Sign column for their magazine. Not knowing a thing about the subject he bought a book and studied the subject and then came forward as an expert 10 minutes later. He had many career moves, mainly with the National Cash Register Company and as a country radio announcer, then into sales and marketing with 2SM and 2GB.
Ray, Arthur Bowman and I met in 1975 at a Federation of Australian Astrologers NSW meeting, where we became friends known in some branches as the three wise men (but only wise after the second glass of port) and we were soon involved with this organisation, and then to the Federal level.
Ray’s son Martin was then a young man at that time and much to his dad’s dismay, he was a bit of a tear-away, just like most of us growing up. Martin turned out okay ending up with his own business, and Ray was very proud of Martin’s career and maturity.
Ray was selected as the No 1 to run the 3rd International astrological conference at the NSW University in 1980 which was a resounding success. I still have the video of the opening ceremony where you can see his talent and wit when running the Questions & Answer section at the next conference in 1986. Through his magazine he was always a great help to those who ran all these conferences in NSW.
In 1980 he bought the Astrological Monthly Review magazine, which became one of the loves of his life. This venue enabled him to help so many, and to launch the careers of up-and-coming astrologers in all the different systems of astrology. Ray’s interest in spiritualism over the many years of his life led him to Art and to produce many paintings in both oils and water colours. He would often disappear on sketching trips in the bush, even as far as Coonabarabran.
Prior to the 1980 conference the so-called three wise men met to help organise that conference and selected a pub in the Rocks to do so. Being such a great event we decided that we must do this every Wednesday (the lunch not the conference), and until recently and for over the past 30 years we would have a lunch each week. Soon everyone wanted to be invited, especially those visiting from overseas.
So many astrologers and friends have sent their condolences, and it is impossible to mention them all. From the USA the Denises, both Flaherty & Harness, many others kindly remember Ray for his generosity and help, especially Donna Van Toen who was a long time special friend. Our hearts go out to Martin and the family, who I know appreciate all your thoughts and they will hold this day very dear to their hearts.
The late Gwen Stoney would have been up there to welcome Ray along with his parents and son Morgan. Ray was a great believer of the after-life and the karma involved.
Ray’s marriage to Ethel was also quite an event. The Reverend Ted Noffs was just about to say “I pronounce you man and wife” when he stopped and looked at his watch. “Sorry” he said “I have to speak for a couple more minutes until the required astrological time for this pronouncement”. Ray and Ethel travelled a lot overseas, especially cruises and lecture tours in the USA. Ray liked his life, a good lunch, and only a beer or two, good mates and stimulating, if at some times somewhat controversial conversations. However you were never quite sure if he was pulling your leg.
A lot of his childhood and teen years were spent in the Blue Mountains bush walking and as a Scout Leader. Later on from 1991 we had many lunches in the Blue Mountains. Ray decided to move from Sydney and bought a house in Katoomba in 2006, then joined the Wentworth Falls Bowling Club. He loved his bowls and liked to dress up in his bowls gear. Ray made many friends at the club and fitted in with us all with his many stories about his time in radio and his exploits. He was very appreciative of the generous help the bowler’s gave him when settling in, both at the Club and his home.
There is a great feast of stories about Ray’s life for each individual who knew him, and one good point was Ray’s commendable trait that he never could hold a grudge for very long, even when he kept mentioning it. Well before Star Wars, he always signed off his magazine editorials with “may the force be with you” it certainly still is. Ray you have left a great hole in my life and you were my only true friend.
Farewell my friend and long time mate
A Friend of Astrology
Ray was a great friend and supporter of Astrology and Astrologers. His generosity of spirit has been an inspiration to me during the 28 years I have known him. As Editor and Publisher of ‘Astrological Monthly Review’ since taking over in 1980, his promotion and mentorship of aspiring and well established astrologers and also astrological organisations in his magazine, was outstanding. Ray was a Fellow and Professional Member of the Federation of Australian Astrologers and was presented with the Jyotish Ratna Award in 1986 for services to Astrology.
His involvement with FAA included working in executive positions and convening FAA International Conventions. He played an important role in FAA’s development and history. Ray lectured internationally and in particular attracted a large following at American Federation of Astrologers, Inc. Conventions. His relaxed, easy going style and ability to present the subject of astrology to the public in a clear, understandable manner made him an instant favourite. In 1996 at the AFA Orlando Florida Convention, Ray received an award for ‘Most Popular Lecturer’.
A prolific astrological writer and media personality, Ray wrote ‘Your Day by the Stars’ broadcast throughout Australia and New Zealand since 1988. He was author of the 36 book series ‘Pan Australian Horoscopes’.
In our lifetime we can count on one hand those we can call true friends and Ray Webb was one of those rare individuals. He died the day before his 80th birth-day.
Born January 13, 1928 at 0:35 am in Sydney Australia, he died January 12, 2008 at 11:40 am in Katoomba . Ray will be sadly missed.