Ross Hamilton - one of the region's most extraordinary sport administrators and supporters - will be laid to rest in Inverell next week.
Hamilton, 85, passed away suddenly on Tuesday morning from a rare blood disorder.
His funeral will be held at Inverell Crematorium from 3pm on Tuesday.
A remarkable and giving man, Hamilton was a life member of the Inverell Hawks, Group 5 (now Group 19), Group 4, the Northern Division (now the Greater Northern Tigers) and the Country Rugby League (now absorbed into the NSW Rugby League).
His support and administration wasn't just for those major rugby league bodies but extended into the Inverell community, where he served on various committees over many years.
He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2018.
Born at Black Mountain, near Guyra, in 1935, he married Janette in 1958 and they brought up two children, Stephen and Lisa.
He worked as a clerk at Wright Heaton's in Inverell for seven years, before joining Inverell Shire Council in 1958 and serving there for 42 years until his retirement in 2000.
He received the Inverell Services to Sport Award in 1975. His service to local bodies was immense.
Hamilton was a member of the Inverell Apex Club and the Inverell Sports Council. He served on the board of directors of the Inverell District Hospital from 1979 to 1995 and served on the P&C Association at both Inverell Primary School and Macintyre High School.
He was a commentator on the Sapphire City Floral Festival Parade from 1993 to 1997 and also provided a bookmakers fluctuation service for the Inverell Jockey Club from 1970 to 2014.
He was selected to participate in the 2000 Olympic torch relay and received the Australian government's Services to Sport Award in 2000.
However it was in rugby league where he really excelled.
He was secretary of the Inverell Hawks from 1959 to 1979 and served a year as treasurer at the club. He was on the Hawks' committee from 1980 to 2020.
An amazing 60 years of service to the Hawks!
In that time, he was also a member of the inaugural committee of the Inverell Minor League.
He was awarded life membership of the Hawks way back in 1974, a club he also promoted across the radio waves. He broadcast local matches over Radio 2NZ for 36 years, commencing in 1963 with a match between Inverell and Guyra in Guyra.
He also hosted a Sunday morning rugby league segment on 2NZ for many years, as well as an ABC radio segment covering the Northern Division from 1984 to 1988.
Group 5 (now Group 19) awarded him life membership in 1976 after he served as its secretary from 1975 to 1981.
He was also chairman of the Group's qualifications committee for 10 years and served two years on its judiciary and six years on its selection panel.
When Inverell joined the Group 4 Super League in 1981, he joined too and became Group 4 secretary in 1983, a post he held until 2012.
He was also a delegate to the Northern Division, starting in 1976 at Group 5 and continuing with Group 4 until 2012. He was awarded Group 4 life membership in 1991.
Hamilton took over as Northern Division secretary in 1984, serving until 2007.
He was a delegate to the CRL from 1981 to 2012, was a selector for the Northern Division and managed NSW Country teams in 1993. He was made a life member of the CRL in 1999.
It surely is one of the most comprehensive and exhaustive resumes of any sports official.
Hamilton was a man of great resolve and undaunting service.
Vale Ross McLean Hamilton - may he rest in peace.