Ronald John Hill

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Ron Hill Mayor of Orange 1963-67

Ronald John Hill (always known as John Hill) was born on 26 June 1930 at Hunter’s Hill. The family of eight children moved to Queanbeyan when John was four years old. John started school at the local convent school and did his senior years at St Gregory’s School Campbelltown.

Upon leaving school John took up a scholarship to Armidale Teacher’s College (1948-1949) where he meet his future wife Mary Louise Wake.

John started teaching in 1950 as an agricultural science teacher at Orange Rural School. As there were insufficient biology teachers in Orange he also taught after hours at PLC and Santa Maria.

John and Mary married and went on to have seven children, all born in Orange.

In 1959 John decided to stand for local government on a ‘Rate Payers Association’ ticket as there was much local concern over ever escalating rates. Once on council he fought to keep rate increases to a minimum.

In 1962 John was elected Deputy Mayor to Clive Hamer. The following year with Clive Hamer and Alan Campbell support he became mayor of Orange. John was only 32 years old. He served in that position for five years. In his sixth year he resigned from the position and threw his support behind Reginald Joseph Cutcliffe who went on to become mayor. Reg was the third teacher in a row to be mayor of Orange.

During his time on council John worked assiduously to promote the growth of Orange. He felt that ‘decentralisation’ was important for a country town as they either grew or died!

He was great supporter of the Amoco Hall and Wentworth Golf Club, both largely built by volunteer labour. He opened both of them.

John worked at many schools in Orange and was the first principal of Calare Public School.

John was further promoted and moved to Sydney as a principal in of a class one school Riverstone Primary. He became the executive of the 'Disadvantaged Grants' for schools set up under the Whitlam Government. He also served as a relieving inspector of schools. Following his retirement John and Mary moved to Woy Woy. John died on 27 August 2018, aged 88.

  • Marie Therese Riordan, July 2017
Mayor of Orange, Ronald John Hill greets a visiting district magistrate. Image courtesy John Hill.
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