It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Rev. Ray Richmond, former Minister at the Wayside Chapel. Ray played an enormous part in helping to achieve Australia’s first injecting facility. When a group of us were planning to open an injecting facility. As a trial and an act of civil disobedience, Ray provided the final piece of the jigsaw by offering the Wayside Chapel as a location for the service. The Tolerance room opened for approximately 10 days and ensured an injecting facility was added to the agenda for the 1999 NSW Drug Summit.
The Drug Summit then approved a recommendation to open one in Kings Cross which became the MSIC. During the time that the tolerance room was open, Ray Richmond and 3 drug users were arrested in a police raid on the premises. The magistrate threw out the charges and complained about the waste of time and resources.
I remember Ray as a very warm-hearted person who wanted to make a difference to the lives of the people affected by drugs and other social problems. I am pleased to have called him a friend, and he will be missed.
Tony Trimingham, OAM
Family Drug Support