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australian rowers profiles and history

James Bourke

Mercantile Rowing Club (Vic)

(18th January 1946 - 2nd June 1997) 

The following obituary appeared in Mercantile 1996-97 annual report.

A very popular Mercantillian from the 1960's and 1970's has sadly passed away. 

Jim rowed in the Xavier First VIII in 1963, 1964 and 1965 and in 1964 the crew won the Founders Challenge Cup at the Scotch Mercantile Regatta. 

In 1966 Jim stroked the Mercantile Junior VIII coached by Graeme McCall and this crew became the Australian Champion Junior VIII. He also stroked the Junior IV which became the State Champions. 

In 1967 and 1968 Jim rowed in the Senior VIII which won the State Championships. 

In the 1970' s he rowed successfully with Monash University and was emergency for the King's Cup crew. 

Jim coached the 1982 Xavier crew with Mike McKay aboard and may well have inspired his later career. 

Jim was much loved and admired by those he met. He was a person of high integrity, a regular church goer and he was renowned for being quick to defend the indefensible. 

We have lost a very popular member and our condolences go to Romayne and Dash. 

1968 Victorian Championship Eight with Jim in the three seat

Andrew Guerin
February 2023

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