Condolences and sympathies are extended to Clarita (Laling) Bucao his family on the passing of FASHVI Life Member Rey Bucao Snr on Tuesday evening 7th August 2018 at 86 years of age at Mayfield Aged Care.
Rey was the father & father-in-law of Rizalito & Ranu, Leilani & Paul & Reynaldo Jr. Rey was much loved Lolo of Nelson, Marqus, Bailey, Yashmin and Jaiden.
Rey Bucao had been cared for at home by his wife Laling and family over the past few years as his health deteriorated. Rey’s respiratory problems and heart issues confined him to his home, with medication to help his quality of life.
Rey was admitted to the Calvary Mater Hospital at Waratah on several occasions over the past few years. Then on Friday 1st June 2018 he was again admitted to the Calvary Mater Hospital.
Rey was given oxygen, intravenous drip medication to stabilize his condition. In early July, Rey was transferred to Belmont Hospital for placement in an Aged Care Facility.
Rey was transferred in July to Mayfield Aged Care, where despite daily visits by his wife Laling and family he passed away on Tuesday 7th August 2018.
Rey’s funeral was held on Wednesday 15th August 2018 at Pettigrew's Funeral at Wallsend, after which a private cremation followed.
A profile of Rey’s Life
Reynaldo Beguilme Bucao was born on 29th June 1932 at San Pablo, Laguna, Philippines where he grew up and completed his education.
After school Rey was a Marine Engineer on a ship, when it went to Cebu he met Laling (Clarita), who was working as a Ship Chandler in Cebu.
After a 2 year courtship they were married on 7th April 1960 in Cebu, where she lived while Rey was at sea.
Rey and Laling had 3 children, Rizalito who is 51 years of age, then Lelani who is 48 years of age and Reynaldo Jnr. who is 46 years of age.
He worked in Papua New Guinea from 1970 for Burns Philip Ltd as a Refrigeration & Air conditioning Supervisor.
After 10 years Rey travelled to Townsville, 5th September 1980 for 5 months and after passed examinations to migrate to Australia.
In March 1981 Rey and family moved to the BHP Steelworks, Newcastle to take up his new employment in refrigeration, where he often recruited and trained workers who were sent to Melbourne to work.
Hence the legacy of Rey Bucao began in Newcastle, lasting for over 37 years. Even up till 2 months prior to his passing he continued to write ‘Newsbits’ for the Mabuhay Newsletter a monthly publication of FASHVI.
Rey Bucao Founder of FASHVI
On relocating to Newcastle with his family in March 1981, Rey was eager to meet Filipino-Australians. Rey enquired at the newly formed Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) at Hamilton if there was a Filipino-Australian association. Mrs. Veronica Henry told Rey “There was None”.
A few weeks later he met Zeny Edmonds and Ursie Thuel, who told Rey there were many Pilipinas married to Aussies but there was no formal association. Rey with Zeny & Ursie contacted more Pinay-Aussies, and drew up a organisation structure, constitution, a name and a logo.
On Sunday 14th June, 1981 at Lutheran Church Hall, Broadmeadow, Rey presented a proposal to a gathered group who enthusiastically signified approval and support. Hence the Filipino-Australian Society of the Hunter Valley was born. At the meeting the late Ray Williams was elected as the 1st President.
Initially FASHV operated as an unincorporated charity, so besides a lot of social and cultural activities in the following months, embarking on fund raising schemes.
At this time Rey with Velia McNamara & Zoraida King organized the Mabuhay Dance Troupe, and later on the Sampaguita Choir.
Rey was the Filipino Society delegate to Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle & Hunter Region Inc; (ECCNHR). FASHVI was amongst the first to be involved. Rey was awarded Life Membership of the ECC in about Year 2008, in recognition of his services to multiculturalism.
Rey helped organize sporting activities, eg:- Basketball, Volleyball, Tenpin Bowling, Golf and even “Simpa” a Filipino sport.
Rey was initiated publishing the Mabuhay Newsletter. Rey continued to write his “Newsbits” column which he submitted each month right up till May 2018.
On the spiritual aspect, Rey with Fr. R. Paras, initiated the monthly religious revival which eventually led to the celebration of an Annual ‘Fiesta’ in honor of the First Filipino Saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila. The first fiesta was held at the Scallabrini Centre, Hamilton it provided the venue for spiritual and Social functions.
In 1987 FASHVI was legally incorporated legal association in NSW, as membership grew, hence the FASHVI.
In June 1984, Rey initiated the establishment of a Filipino Language School now known as the SCHOOL OF PHILIPPINE STUDIES (SOPS). Funding from the NSW Community Language Program under the Department of Education & Training and the Migrant Resource Centre of Newcastle; which Rey led with help from other Filipino’s to teach and development of children of Filipino-Australians of the Filipino language and culture. Rey continued this task well into the 21st century.
Rey was also President of FASHVI on several occasions and his passing will leave a large gap in knowledge not only of FASHVI, but also his writings in not only the Mabuhay Newsletter, also the Philippine Community Herald and also occasionally the Bayanihan News, and also SBS Radio.
Rey’s legacy will live on, but the Bucao family will miss a man who they loved. During this time of grieving and sorrow, they can rest assured there are hundreds of Filipino-Australians, who will also miss Rey’s wisdom, his willingness to help others. On behalf of all FASHVI members please accept our condolences on the passing of your husband and father, whom we all loved and admired.