Rowing Australia was saddened today to learn of the passing of Australian Olympian and Coach, Maurice Grace. Born in 1929, the New South Welshman represented Australia in the Men’s Pair at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games in a boat with Peter Raper. The duo finished fourth in the final that took place on Lake Wendouree, Ballarat.
Mr Grace was the patriarch of an Australian rowing dynasty, with his son-in-law Tim Conrad also a rowing Olympian (1976, Montreal Olympic Games – Men’s Eight) and his grandson, Sam Conrad most recently represented Australia in the Men’s Eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
After competing, Mr Grace became one of the all-time great coaches of Sydney University Boat Club in New South Wales. Mr Grace, who was affectionately known as ‘Maurie’ coached SUBC crews with great success over the 1970s, in a position that was entirely voluntary. Under his guidance, SUBC’s heavyweight men’s squad was dominant in the early seventies in numerous regattas, while he went on to coach two winning King’s Cup crews in 1974 and 1975 and the Australian Men’s Pair that competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
The whole rowing community’s thoughts are with Mr Grace’s family, especially his daughters Megan Conrad and Meredith Street and his grandchildren, Sam Conrad and Honor Conrad. The late Mr Grace’s McVilly-Pearce pin will be presented to his family in due course, he was rower number 80.