Colleagues Rowing Club (NSW)
The following is an extract from an April 2009 publication written by crew member Ian Stewart on the 50th anniversary of their Head of the River win in 1959.
After an enjoyable and memorable four years of coxing at SHS, Ron was given charge of the Colleagues Rowing Club Eight, made up largely of former Sydney High School rowers. This crew rowed out of Sydney Rowing Club and was good enough to win the State Junior Eights title 1960.
Ron then drifted away from rowing entirely and took to surfing and water skiing. He was also an active member, for many years, of the iconic Bondi Icebergs, and swam in inter-club competitions. He was a member of the Icebergs team which won the 1972 NSW Winter Swimming Association Championship.
On leaving school, Ron began a part time degree in Engineering at the University of New South Wales. After a couple of years he dropped out and, as an alternative, took on training as a Technician with the National Cash Register Company. Success in this led to his being commissioned overseas to conduct training and to set up and carry out technical aspects of conversions to decimal currency of cash registers, in both New Guinea and Jamaica, during the 1960’s.
Ron stayed in business machines as contractual and service manager with various companies until the early 1980’s in Sydney and Coffs Harbour and then Queensland. Interested in a new direction, he changed to the construction business with the start of the rail electrification in the Gladstone area. This involved the company sending him as a site clerk to their Darling Harbour, NSW, location. Following this he became site administrator for the Sodium Cyanide plant in Gladstone. A number of other projects involved Ron in work in this area of Queensland until his retirement in 2000.
Prior to retirement, Ron had an involvement with Maroochy Shire, where he was living at the time, and where he still lives. Here he helped set up and run the Reprographics Center with up-to-date copiers.
In the 1960s, when Ron was working in Kingston, Jamaica, he met a woman who lived in the same apartment complex as himself. Just as the relationship was developing, Ron’s job required him to move back to Australia. Sally, his new love, then migrated with her family to Australia soon after his departure. Ron and Sally were married five months later. Sally’s parents found it difficult to settle in Sydney and decided to return to Jamaica. Sally and Ron stayed in Sydney for a couple of years and then moved to Coffs Harbour, where their first child, Louise, was born. Four years later Paul came along. When the children were young, Sally and Ron got involved with Nippers and the Amateur Swimming club, plus all the other sports and activities the children wanted try. Over the next few years work took Sally and Ron to Gladstone, Rockhampton and finally the Sunshine Coast. Ron is now retired, but Sally is still doing some contract work for the local Council. They have one grandchild aged three, and another on the way. An ageing, spoilt cat keeps them in line.
Ron’s retirement has led them to discover sailing. He and Sally started by buying a twenty-two foot Compass ‘Careel’. They have added a caravan to the armamentarium and now are able to explore, by both land and sea, some of our own wonderful country, having already seen what the rest of the world has to offer.