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australian rowers profiles and history

Georgina (Jean) Bradshaw

Mercantile Rowing Club (VIC)

Jean Bradshaw was a tireless worker for the sport of rowing including the great support of her husband Bill's work on regattas. Together they improved the standard of regattas in Victoria and at every Australian Championships held there. This work lifted the standard of regattas throughout Australia through adoption of innovative technologies of the time and smart thinking. Bill was known as the King of regattas. Bill was also not known for his sense of humour in rowing circles given his rejection of late entries. However both he and Jean had a great sense of humour outside regattas.

Bill predeceased Jean.

The following brief comments come form a good friend Ron "Thrasher " Richardson upon her death in 2009.

Jean was a nursing Sister with Bill's late sister, Jean. 

She was a tireless worker for the Red Cross until her death, particularly as a telephone caller to housebound people. 

Jean was for many years the leader of Mercantile Rowing Club Social Committee, generating very significant funds for the Club and much social activity for its members. 

In 1980 a coxless pair was named in her honour as acknowledgment of her outstanding contribution to Mercantile. 

Bill and Jean hosted the "Bay Street Diners" a group of Mercantilians and partners who attended regularly at the Bradshaw home in Brighton to be entertained in the style for which the Bradshaws were renowned; black tie was the dress code . Diners were: Bradshaw, Cordell, Morgan, Morrison, Richardson and Spark. [From other sources -  these dinner parties were grand affairs. The legendary hospitality was conducted in their heritage home with large rooms and furniture. Specifically it contained a superb crystal collection, housed in a magnificent cabinet across one side of the expansive dining room, reflecting Bill’s jewellery background. There was also the famous story of the chandelier crashing down on one of the dinner parties – not the Bay Street Diners.]

Jean wholeheartedly supported Bill during his significant contribution to Victorian Rowing, Regatta Secretary, Regatta Secretary to Scotch-Mercantile for many years and to Australian Henley during its revival in 1982 - these organisations were strongly supported by Jean. 

Rowing was their sport and the countless hours of honorary work were exemplary. Jean died in Epworth Hospital in October 2009.

Andrew Guerin
January 2021

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