Almost 100 people gathered at the The Crib Room Restaurant on Saturday night, July 7, to celebrate the decades Cr Steve Ring has dedicated to the Hartley Historic Site.
Colleague Kristen Howarth said Cr Ring had a genuine love of Hartley.
“While he could be frustrating to work for and a bit of a control freak, he also has a softer side, a passion and love for Hartley that drove him to see it succeed, even when bureaucracy was against him,” Ms Howarth said.
“A lesser man would have walked away long ago.”
This week was Ring’s last at Hartley due to a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services restructure.
Cr Ring began managing the site more than 30 years ago, in 1987.
“Moving into semi-retirement I’ll have more time to work on community based projects,” Cr Ring said.
“The time at Hartley, it was good but it’s time for a change.
“It’s not a negative. It’s time to move on and not have that pressure.”
Since taking on the position in1987, Ring secured over $10 million in funding and implemented a master plan at the site, which has delivered new toilets, a cafe, two galleries, accommodation and walking tracks, as well as won three NSW National Trust Heritage Awards.
He also hosted many events at the site, including the annual ‘Back to Hartley’ fair.
“I’ve left the place far better than what it was than when I get there. It’s got a really good future,” Cr Ring said.
“It’s a very good base to continue the work that I started and to keep Hartley as a very significant tourist attraction for our community.”
The Hartley Advisory Committee chair Bob Morris congratulated Cr Ring for all his efforts, and thanked him for a solid partnership that saw great expansion within the site.
Cr Ring was awarded his thirty year service medal at Saturday night’s farewell.