PHOTOS: Purga Elders Boardmembers with Cr David Pahlke – Chairperson Steven Davidson, Jill Davidson (“Uncle” Ron Richards Great Niece), Taigan Ashe, and Priscilla Ireland at the unveiling.
What a great day! And what a special occasion it was as part of “PURGA ON SHOW” highlighting Purga’s proud indigenous heritage.
Purga Elders and Descendants Aboriginal Coporation Chairperson Steven Davidson commented that the corporation had been overwhelmed with inquiries from all over Australia coancerning the day and in particular from Sydney where Ron spent a large part of his life. The day featured a performance by the Yuggera Munanjali dance troupe, and family entertainment and activities. The Purga Elders are keen to see this become a bi-ennial showpiece day for the Aboriginal community.
The highlight was the official unveiling of the memorial plaque and sign in recognition of the achievements of Australian Boxing Immortal Ranald (Ron) Richards. 8th May was the 100th anniversary of his birth at Deebing Creek Mission.
In 1914 he moved to Purga. Ron learnt his craft in the fighting tents and was famous for his speed, toughness and counterpunching. Ron held three three Australian boxing titles: middle, light heavyweight and heavyweight and also a British Empire title.
He was a serious contender for the middleweight and light heavyweight world championships having been ranked no 2 in the world in two divisions by The Ring magazine. Ron is rated as one of the finest professional boxers ever produced in Australian. His career spanned 40 years with 140 fights from 1928-1945 featuring 100 wins.
His fights with the Alabama Kid, Gus Lesnevich, Fred Henneberry and the legendary Archie Moore are still raised by boxing historians. He was a genuine superstar of his time and he achieved this at a time when opportunity and equiety, were not easily obtained for aboriginal
achievers. It was the time just after Phar Lap, and Walter Lindrum of the Billards Table that he fought. If he had been able to easily venture onto the world stage there is no doubt he may have become a world boxing immortal.
The Passion of the following people to bring this day to fruitrition needs to be acknowledged;
. Allan Moore President Australian National Boxing Federation
. Ken Watson Member of Boxing Hall of Fame
. Tony Hood
. Derek Kinchella ICC Community Cultural Services
Our Sincere thanks to the PURGA ELDERS and Descendants Aboriginal Corporation.