Remembering Ron

Below are various documents to, by and about Ron Hoy. Feel free to email or post documents to to have them included on this page.

A letter to Wendy and the Hoy family following Ron's memorial service on 16 October, 2009

Dear Wendy: 

Yesterday was not the best time to chat to you and your family but we were greatly moved by the service and not at all surprised by the beautiful and easily understood sentiments of the group. 

Ron was a remarkable man. I find no description too noble to apply to him. Words like integrity, sincerity, honesty, balance, loyalty, innovation, amiability, generosity and sheer decency come to mind but scarcely match the man. 

Being chief of cardiothoracic surgery in early days, I knew him at the Prince Henry Hospital where we were close colleagues for however many years he was there … an always pleasant colleague of impeccable wisdom and reliability in all he did. And then he disappeared to Asia and I missed his smile and ability to make some days more worthwhile. 

A couple of years ago, a mutual acquaintance mentioned Ron’s name and gave me his phone number. From then on, Rebecca and I became his admirers and, we felt, his friends. We had many conversations, recollections and sociable meetings until, just before he was due to visit us for lunch, he cancelled because of a fractured hip. After that, we met you and Judith. 

Recently, I published a book about war surgery … “A partnership of heroes” is its sub-title. While researching it (having myself never been in a war) Ron was gracious and generous enough to tell me the story of his war … warts and all. I have included some of it in the book, observing the anonymity he wanted. Perhaps I am a little sorry about that now because his story was so direct and illuminating of him as a gallant man, and of the tragedy of all wars. 

So our contact was compressed into professional events of some 40 years ago and a fortuitous reunion for a couple of recent years ... what we think of as a summer of rediscovery of each other. Selfishly, of course, we shall miss him but remember him for many things and with unlimited admiration. Please pass these comments on to whomsoever you think might find interest in them. And thank you for having us join you yesterday.


Email to the Hoy family from Greg Graham

Thank you for the kind words Judith and I'm sorry I missed Ron's Farewell at the Mosman RSL.

Although I didn't engage Ron in small talk, a characteristic I suspect he appreciated about me, I couldn't help praising him for the ease with which he mastered the PC given his age and poor vision, a feat that stands as a testimony to his lively and inquiring mind even at the very end.

One thought he did share with me was his dread of losing the ability to read books, the internet and so on and his determination to do all he could to keep this. Ron was doing far more on the computer than people decades his junior, and I was amazed at how he was able to perform very complex procedures to scan documents and convert them to speech, use Dragon Dictate to convert his speech into electronic documents, send and receive emails, project pages of documents onto his TV screen via a camcorder so as to read them and his use of an electronic diary. He relied on his memory of the desktop layout to use the PC and I soon learnt to avoid altering this as this would throw him for a few hours.

I also found it incredible how he'd venture off into town or up the street on his own to do this or that. I'd be happy just to make it to Ron's age and to be that outgoing and independent is just startling.

Warmest Regards,

Greg Graham
Artarmon Computers
Greg Graham,
Dec 8, 2009, 2:33 AM