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australian rowers profiles and history

Rose Evans (nee Goodman)

Sydney Women’s Rowing Club & Mosman Rowing Club (NSW)

Died 1983

The following comments were provided by the Committee of the NSW Union of Ex-Oarswomen as an introduction to Rose's booklet "Sixty Years of Women's Rowing, 1920-1980".

Rose (Goodman) Evans joined the Sydney Women's Rowing Club in 1926 and soon made her presence felt as an outstanding stroke. With Rose as Secretary and Iris (Pike) Atkinson as Captain, the club made significant progress, both on the water and financially. Many excellent oarswomen were produced by a hard working coach, Claude Rosevear. 

Interstate coach, Chris Kayser, said of Rose: "She was the best rower I have ever coached".

In 1928, N.S.W. won the Australian Championship on the Parramatta River with a full Sydney crew comprising:

Bow: Flo (Lodge) Thurston
2: Win Durrell
3: Iris Pike
Str: Rose Goodman 
Cox: Jum Boultbee
Coach: Claude Rosevear

It was a triumph to beat South Australia, who had won every Australian Championship since the Interstate Trophy had been instituted. 

Rose helped found the N.S.W. Women's Rowing Association in 1929 and worked tirelessly and continually until its close. She held the honour of Life Membership with the N.S.W. Women's Rowing Assocition, Sydney Women's Rowing Club and Mosman Rowing Club. Rose founded Mosman Ladies Rowing Club which became affiliated with the Association in 1957. 

After many years devoted to active rowing and administration, Rose, in 1962, founded the N.S.W. Union of Ex-Oarswomen, as a means whereby all who had participated in the joy of rowing could rekindle old friendships and still keep an active interest in the sport. 

After a twelve year battle with cancer, Rose passed away in 1983. As a tribute, her friends and colleagues in the N.S.W. Union of Ex-Oarswomen established a perpetual trophy in her honour: "The Rose Evans Memorial Trophy - Oarswoman of the Year".

The ideas and ideals that Rose put into the executive side of rowing and the energy she put into coaching are to be commended and will be remembered always: 

"ROSE EVANS - a charming lady, much loved by generations of rowers". 

The following quotes come from a history of Sydney Women’s Rowing Club show that Iris Pike and Rose were not always in sync: In 1926 a very promising type of girl joined our club, namely Rose Goodman (Evans) who could really stroke a boat. …. .Rose Goodman had other progressive ideas; she tried to introduce shorts which had just come into vogue, but Captain Iris Pike was adamant that bloomers would stay and with the support of Mrs Bentley this continued until the Captain had to take annual leave.  When she returned the members had been called to a meeting and brainwashed into accepting shorts fully 2” above the knee.

Rose Evans was also the initial force behind schoolgirls rowing in NSW. There is some evidence of schoolgirls rowing in the 1920’s, however it is not until the 1950’s that there are records indicating that schoolgirls were competing members of some clubs. Rose saw the future of rowing for our schoolgirls and canvassed the local schools for members.  She formed Mosman girls rowing in the 1950’s and organised it into a strong competitive force. Rose spent weekends on the water with schoolgirl crews and encouraged a large number of them to compete in Mosman colours. They did this with outstanding success. Rose Evans is the founder of the New South Wales Union of Ex-Oarswomen and set its goals as supporting women’s rowing and women rowers.

In 1993 the NSW Union of Ex-Oarswoman donated a perpetual trophy for competition between schoolgirl first eight at the NSW Schoolgirls Head of the River and it is fitting that it is named in the memory of Rose Evans. Since the first “Head” race in 1990 to the first competition for the trophy in 1992

Rose married S Fred Evans of Mosman Rowing Club and were the parents of Bruce & Stuart Evans and grandparents of World Champion and Olympian Steve Evans.

1932 NSW crew being welcome in Brisbane for the Interstate Championships

Some details:

1928 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship stroke – First

1929 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship stroke – Second

1930 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship stroke – First

1931 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship stroke – First

1932 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship stroke – First

Hon Sec of the Australian Women’s Rowing Association for many years.

Life member of the Mosman Rowing Club

Life member of the NSW Women’s Rowing Association (and a foundation member)

1932 NSW Crew stroked by Rose

Andrew Guerin
January 2022


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