A tribute to ATA founder Jack MacLean is currently being prepared
A tribute to ATA foundation member Victor Isaacs is currently being prepared
A tribute to Ted Downs is currently being prepared. Ted was a significant donor to the Association
Stephen Gray was one of those wonderful people who was known and cherished by friends in many walks of life. We were proud to have him as one of our members in ATA.
His death notice in The Age on Wednesday 3 November 2021 is such a lovely and touching tribute.
Stephen joined The Met Rail Division in Melbourne around 1988 as a Messenger in the Timetables Section. His main role was to deliver copies of Train Running Circulars to other CBD Offices, Metrol Building (Batman Ave) and Flinders St Yard (Drivers & Guards Rosters, Fleet Allocation). It is understood that he had spent some time previously there under a Work Experience Program.
He continued in this situation through all of the name changes, e.g. Bayside Trains, Hillside Trains, Connex, National Express (MTrain) & Metro Trains.
With the change to electronic distribution of such documents at the start of the 2000s, Stephen developed the skill to prepare Route Maps with a CAD type package for bus drivers operating rail replacement services. Some of his maps have been retained in the Association’s archives.
He was a renowned collector of train, tram and bus timetables, and he spent much leisure time travelling on all Melbourne bus routes, including late-night and Night-rider services. Much time was spent at the former Met Shops collecting timetables, including extra copies for his collector friends and for the ATA Distribution List.
He regularly attended ATA Sydney meetings, travelling from Melbourne by XPT, or on the cheaper interstate overnight coaches. He would return with a copious supply of goodies from the grab table.
For much of his early working life, Stephen commuted into the City from Doncaster by bus, and with his friendly outlook was warmly regarded by many of the drivers from Doncaster Depot. Similarly, he was well-liked by his many work colleagues.
David Hennell, Geoff Mann and Len Regan visited Moira Gray (Stephen’s mother) and on behalf of ATA gave her a fuchsia plant in a pot as a growing and lasting remembrance of Stephen’s infectious spirit of happiness, endurance and perseverance. Moira planted Stephen’s ashes under the fuchsia. The following message was written on a sympathy card. “Moira. Stephen was a much loved member of the Australian Timetable Association and the group working in Melbourne on the National Timetable Collection. We thoroughly enjoyed his company and were inspired by the dedication and enjoyment he displayed in sorting and studying timetables. His smile was always there, even when we now know that he had a serious illness. We will miss him greatly, but his determination and his spirit will live on within all of us.”
Stephen has donated his crates of timetables to ATA, and they will be included in the National Timetable Collection.
Unless you were told, you would not have known that Stephen was deaf.