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Vale Roger Moore

Rowing Australia was deeply saddened to learn of the passing on Monday 9 November of former Rowing Australia National Selector and rowing stalwart, Roger Moore, he was 81.

Born on 19 January 1939, Roger Moore was a significant member and leader of our rowing community. In his time, Roger had been a member of Yarra Yarra Rowing Club (VIC), Sydney University Boat Club (NSW) and Adelaide University Boat Club (SA).

Roger was an astute coach, administrator and commentator of the sport. He had a razor sharp eye for good rowing and a willingness to express his views, sometimes quite stridently. He served as an Australian selector and was a Councillor and Board member of Rowing Australia.

He was passionate about rowing and could talk about it for hours. Fellow rowing aficionados and long term friends David Bishop and Kerry Jelbart were willing participants in such discussions through to his death. Australian chairman of selectors Brian Richardson, also a long term friend, was also not immune to such debates and credits Roger’s noted school coach Albert Bell for developing this interest. Of perhaps less interest to many rowers was his commentary on his beloved Geelong Football Club!

Roger had a great interest in, and respect for, the history of our sport. He loved the traditional races in the sport, specifically the local Head of the River races, the University Championships and the Interstate Championships. He regularly made himself available to coach such crews. He was also a strong advocate of lightweight rowing and bemoaned the forthcoming loss of lightweight rowing at the Olympic Games.

His views on the importance of club rowing brought him in conflict with the South Australian Rowing Association when the new SASI arrangements were introduced – he feared the degradation of the Clubs and his views never changed.

However, he was far from conservative. Roger was a deep thinker of the sport and a technical innovator. He was a supporter of the introduction of the Australian Institute of Sport and the radical changes necessary in the early 1980s. He was an Australian selector at the time of Reinhold Batschi’s appointment and so one of the key decision makers behind it.

His working life was varied. In Melbourne, he worked for Ron Jelbart at Data Control, a company that produced and sold mechanical computers for use by comptometrists. He was transferred to Adelaide in 1963 with that company. After a move to London where he met his wife Helen, he returned to Australia and initially settled in Sydney. Roger joined Courage Breweries in Melbourne. He final move to Adelaide in the 1972-73 season arose from his appointment as marketing manager of Coopers Brewery. Later, Roger and his wife Helen became renown restaurateurs and wine merchants in Adelaide. Their restaurant in the Botanic Gardens was highly regarded.

Roger was kind and generous friend to so many rowers. He was a loved coach and developed so many young rowers in life. He leaves behind wife Helen and three daughters.

A fuller profile of Roger’s significant rowing career can be found here on Andrew Guerin’s Rowing History website.

With thanks to Andrew Guerin.

Roger in the stroke seat of 1961 Victorian Penrith Cup crew (Image courtesy of Andrew Guerin)