Ray Hawco was born in Harbour Main and grew up there and in Argentia. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1959 and served as a parish priest in St. Brendan’s, Bonavista and Buchans.
He got his pilot’s license, had his own plane, and continued to fly up until a few years ago. (He describes various flying incidents in the last chapter and appendix of this book.) Over the years, Ray has survived an amazing two life/death experiences related to flying and diving.
Ray left his work as a priest in the late 1970s, had a brief and interesting kick at federal politics, and got married. He was very involved in the early days of oil and gas exploration and especially in the 1982 Ocean Ranger disaster in which 84 crew members lost their lives. In the 1990s, he was the provincial government’s chief negotiator for the land claims of the Innu and Inuit peoples of Labrador.
Long time friend Bill Shallow, who wrote the foreword for this book, says Ray was a popular appointment as both a church and community leader in the parishes in which he served. Bill also mentions how Ray excelled as both a participant and leader in sports, everything from softball and hockey to golf and tennis and, most recently, pickle ball.
Bill concluded: “My final word about the memoir is in reference to its title,“Leaning Into The Wind.” Throughout his career, Ray Hawco has been a leader, assertive, often abrasive, but always compassionate. He has been a force to be reckoned with. I am proud of being his friend for so many years and to write this foreword. I sincerely hope that your reading of “Leaning Into The Wind” will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.”