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australian rowers profiles and history

George A Carlson

Sydney Rowing Club (NSW)

The following nomination for life membership for George Carlson was provided in the Sydney Rowing Club annual report in season 1972-73.



The Committee has pleasure in recommending to the Annual General Meeting George A. Carlson for Honorary Life Membership. 

George is well known by all within this Club for his untiring efforts over many years as a Vice President and as a successful coach. 

In the rowing season George can be seen at daybreak or late in the afternoon coaching his crews with that enthusiasm which breeds success. 

At the age of eighty years, even with his unfortunate accident last month, George has retained his youthful exuberance when others of his age are content to sit back and try to remember. 

Your Committee considers that this recommendation will meet with your wholehearted support. 

His obituary in 1974-75 annual report provided some more details.

George Carlson upon his retirement from the Public Service, devoted his time and effort wholeheartedly to the assistance of young oarsmen, both in our Club and with schoolboys. His enthusiasm was quickly transmitted to his pupils with great success and he was ever ready to coach crews at odd times. Even after his eightieth birthday he was often at the shed at 6.00am helping some crew who were unable to boat at more convenient times. 

He was always a pleasant and informative companion to have a drink and talk with, at which he invariably drew disparaging comparison between present day coaches and his immortal Alan Ramsay - ever enthusiastic about the advantages of "poppets" for the learned, in fact forty years after they had been discarded, he amazed all and sundry by having them fitted to a new Homebush High four. He claimed that had his boys not been "brainwashed by outsiders", he would have been responsible for a revival of that fitting. 

George enjoyed good health until the last twelve months of his life when he had the misfortune to firstly break his hip from which he made an excellent recovery only to find he then had to have a surgical operation which apparently had to be repeated; and this caused him some worry, nevertheless he embarked on a N.Z. tour with our Youth crew early last year which he greatly enjoyed. Unfortunately on his return home he suffered a stroke from which he did not recover. 

George was one of those rowing identities one feels proud to have called a friend! 

Andrew Guerin
December 2020

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