Culburra's Phil Ryan has passed away.

The clubs industry is mourning the loss of two stalwarts and CMAA Hall of Fame recipients, Culburra Bowling & Recreation Club’s Phil Ryan and corporate adviser Mary O’Neil.

Phil was a popular and long-serving member of the Club Managers’​ Association Australia’s Illawarra Shoalhaven Zone and was preparing to farewell the industry with his retirement from Culburra on November 4 with the club planning a huge surprise farewell. 

Sadly he passed away on September 5 with his wife, Michelle, by his bedside at Nowra Private Hospital after his health had deteriorated following knee surgery. 

Phil started his hospitality career at Windang Bowls 33 years ago before being appointed Secretary Manager of Nowra Bowling Club in 1994. This was followed by stints at Illawarra Leagues Club and 14 years of service as GM at Wollongong City Diggers. 

Phil joined Culburra Beach Bowling & Recreation Club in 2016 and, as CEO, was described by the club as “ a tower of strength” leading the venue through major renovations, the Covid-19 pandemic, fires, floods and building the club into a wonderful hub for the community and a welcome place for visitors on holidays. 

“Phil was a remarkably generous and thoughtful person, who offered his help and support to every CMAA event in the Zone and attended as many State and Federal events as his schedule was allowed,” CMAA Federal President David Hiscox said.

“I was delighted when Phil received the Manager of the Year hour in 2014 which put him in the CMAA Hall of Fame which was a significant and appropriate recognition of his contribution to our industry. His good humour and friendship will never be lost in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Zone … he was a great friend to many people in the region.”

CMMAA says a memorial service for Phil will be held at Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club, Shoalhaven Heads Road, Shoalhaven Heads on Monday, 17 October at 1pm.

Mary O’Neil.

A private cremation has been held In lieu of flowers donations can be made at the service to Greyhound rescue, NSW and the Rural Fire Service.

Mary O’Neil, who passed away on 4 October with her husband, Alan, by her side, was well known throughout the industry and also held a place in the CMAA Hall of Fame.

Her industry expertise was shared through her company Mary O Corporate Services and prior to that, she spent time at Aristocrat, Ainsworth, AWA and Olympic.

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