HISTORY is Ross Maroney’s passion, and sometimes his obsession.
Yeterday, his dedication was rewarded when he was presented with an Orange Seniors Week Community Service Award.
The award was presented prior to yesterday’s Seniors Week Concert to recognise his many decades of recording the history of Orange and its people.
Mr Maroney said it was an honour to be recognised for something he simply loved to do.
“I knew nothing about it until a week ago when I received the letter,” he said.
Mr Maroney said he had been passionate about researching and recording history since he was young.
“I came to Orange in 1965 to teach at Orange high [school] and in those days I was an English and French teacher,” he said.
“I got more and more into the history of things.”
Over the years Mr Maroney has also written a history column for the Central Western Daily, worked on council’s heritage committee and given his time to the Orange and District Historical Society.
Orange City Council called on Mr Maroney’s extensive knowledge when it came to producing the city’s interpretive historical signs.
“I helped select photos and text in the interpretive signs around the Orange CBD,” he said.
Mr Maroney said it was when he presented the 1927 silent film in Orange last year that he was reminded of the impact of history on people, when a woman gave him feedback.
“She said, ‘my mother saw her father in that film. He died when she was nine-years-old [then] she died a week later’,” he said.
Mr Maroney was honoured to receive the award and will continue to research and record the history of Orange.
“One of the nicest things about history is meeting nice people,” he said.
“I’ve been so incredibly lucky ... it’s allowed me to meet lots of interesting people.
“I’m just pleased I had the chance to record what they told me.”