Lismore throws party to cheer up Ray after vicious attack
THE LISMORE community is turning its dismay and anger into party plans for colourful Lismore identity Raymond Parry, who was king hit on the weekend.
An emotional Mr Parry said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love since an attack at the Winsome.
After knocking Mr Parry to the ground, the perpetrator dragged him outside and punched him until he was pulled off, witnesses said.
Mr Parry emphasised he had only kind things to say about the Winsome Soup Kitchen and cautioned the incident should not reflect badly on the place.
Speaking for Mr Parry, friend Donna Walker urged calm.
"There is a lot of anger. We're not about to excuse what has happened but it's a matter for police now," she said. "We don't want retaliation from the community."
Police said they were investigating the attack.
Ray has been struggling emotionally since the incident. He has not slept well and worries for his safety.
Routinely, he wells up at the kindness extended to him since the attack.
So, instead of getting even, Ray and his friends will get colourful with The Big Love Dress Like Ray Day on July 6. The party will fall on Ray and twin brother Alan's birthday. It is hoped the colourful shindig will buoy Ray's spirits.
"It's very lovely," he said.
Ray, a member of the Winsome Street Choir and a Soup Kitchen regular, is as well known for his bright eccentric garb as his kind-hearted, gentle nature.
To 'Dress Like Ray' the community is encouraged to don bright clothes or Scottish kilts and feel the love.