Ray being presented with his testimonial by Barbara Priddy (Wimbledon Hon. Sec.).
The text of the testimonial presented to Ray on behalf of the Wimbledon and District Philatelic Society is shown below.
RAY DOWNING – PRESIDENT
WIMBLEDON & DISTRICT PHILATELIC SOCIETY
The Committee and Members of the Wimbledon & District Philatelic Society would like to record their thanks to Ray Downing for his many years of service to the Society, and their appreciation for his unstinting labours in the service of organised philately, already recognised by the Association of British Philatelic Societies with their Award of Merit. After 52 years of membership with 50 of those years on the Committee in one role or another, Ray Downing, President of the Wimbledon & District Philatelic Society, has now had to retire due to ill health, but will remain on the Committee as Vice President.
In his years associated with Philately he has become well known in the philatelic community for his love and knowledge of Postal Mechanisation, giving displays not only to local societies but also to the Great Britain Philatelic Society. With his other interests he has also given displays to the National Philatelic Society and the France & Colonies Philatelic Society. He was Hon Secretary of the Postal Mechanisation Study Circle, Membership Secretary of the Forces Postal History Society and an accomplished and Accredited Judge on the Association of British Philatelic Societies (ABPS) Judges List.
Ray first joined the W&DPS in March 1964 after a friend of his spotted an article in the magazine, ' Stamp Collecting'. In June the following year Ray and his friend Phil Realff were both elected to the Committee. Three years later Ray was voted in as Hon Treasurer and remained in that post for over 20 years. In 1991 Ray was elected President and as there were no nominations or volunteers after Ray had served the three consecutive terms allowed by the then constitution, the rule was suspended, with Ray serving as President until May 2016, having given over 20 President’s Displays. He remains on the committee as Vice President.
Ray’s knowledge and enthusiasm for all things philatelic is well known in the societies of the Federation of Surrey Philatelic Societies and beyond. This part of the philatelic world has been infinitely enriched by his loyal and long-standing contributions.
The members of the Wimbledon & District Philatelic Society wish to thank Ray for his guidance and support. His participation in the monthly meetings as well as his numerous other commitments have been, and will continue to be an inspiration to us all.