Vale John Rowe

Published Mon 15 Apr 2024


Sadly John Rowe died this week, another great and long serving member of Mercantile Rowing Club (74 years).

John joined Mercantile RC from Geelong Grammar along with other club greats such as Brian Dawe and Garth Manton. As a top talent, he was rapidly promoted through the ranks to the senior eight and then the Victorian eight where he won a King's Cup in 1954.

Just when he was about to form part of the group making up the 1956 Olympic eight squad, his career took over. An appointment in London with Australian National Airlines beckoned. His son Michael noted that this was a "very difficult decision with 1956 not far away….. but airlines became his life for the decades after."

John held executive roles in both the airline and tourism industries including managing director of the Australian Tourism Commission. An urbane and engaging man who never forgot his days as a rower.

His rower profile can be found at: Rower profile - John S Rowe AM (