OWEN Raymond Cecil (Ray)



Ray Owen had a transformational influence on the Western Australian fruit industry.  As both a scientific adviser and a practitioner he commanded respect from producers who quickly and confidently adopted his recommendations for new strategies for culture, biosecurity and marketing. As an agricultural scientist he was prominent in the Department of Agriculture’s horticultural team in the 1930s that kept the State’s apple industry viable by successfully dealing with serious outbreaks of apple scab and codlin moth. He participated in most of the State’s fruit industry councils over forty years and, at various stages, chaired most of them.  He was an eminent member of the community including President of the Kalamunda Shire Council and was also the region’s member of State parliament on two occasions totalling 15 years. In particular he was instrumental in developing horticulture as an important industry in the Perth hills, developing his own orchard at Kalamunda where he demonstrated new techniques and introduced new crops.