LARGER than life for most of his years, well-known New Norfolk sportsman and exserviceman Ron Miles has died this week, aged 95.
A resident of Corumbene Nursing Home for the past few years, Ron passed away on September 17.
He is survived by his wife June and their children Kym and Linda and their families.
Ron’s funeral service will be at the Millingtons Funeral Home, 151 Main Rd, Moonah, at 1pm today.
He was dubbed Tasmania’s “Mr Boxing” in the 1970s and the name of Ronald Leslie Miles was synonymous with amateur boxing throughout the state for many decades.
His sporting career of more than 60 years included his debut as a young competitive boxer in the mid 1930s, more than 40 years as a respected trainer, a referee for both boxing and wrestling, and time as a promoter expounding the noble art of gloved fisticuffs to all who wished to learn. He also wrote prolifically for the Derwent Valley Gazette.
Ron had his first venture into boxing in 1935 when, at 15, he started training at a Hobart gymnasium.
He fought in several bouts with mixed success at various tournaments before joining the Royal Australian Navy in March 1939. He returned to New Norfolk in 1949 with his wife June and infant son Kym.
Ron played a major role in establishing the Australian Newsprint Mills Boxing Club. In 1954 he started the Derwent Valley Championships, which were so popular they made New Norfolk a state mecca for boxing for nearly 30 years. He ran shows as fundraisers for charities and in the 1950s helped furnish the New Norfolk War Memorial Hall.
Football was another big interest. Ron held many positions in the New Norfolk District Football Club, with 25 years as team manager, as well as assistant secretary and director, and team selector for five coaches. He was awarded life membership in 1960.
Ron retired from ANM in 1980 after 31 years and moved to Burnie before returning to New Norfolk in 1995 to enjoy a quiet life with his wife June.
Ron was named in the 1978 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for service to boxing, wrestling and football. In 2000 Ron received a further honour in the form of the Australian Sports Medal acknowledging his service to amateur boxing and football.