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australian rowers profiles and history

Alan May

Sydney Rowing Club (NSW)

Alan May is the author of the acclaimed history of Sydney Rowing Club published in 1970. Apart from being very well written, the layout and breadth of material covered are outstanding. Many other histories written after this 1970 book have attempted to mirror this work.

In recognition for this work, he was awarded life membership of the Club. The following tribute is taken from 1970-71 annual report of the club.

The Committee has resolved that Alan May be nominated for Honorary Life Membership at the Annual General Meeting. 

Alan May wrote Sydney Rows, the history of Sydney Rowing Club, which was published during our Centenary Year of 1970. This magnificent book, which runs to over two hundred pages, was researched and written by Alan May over a period of two and a half years, during which time he moved from Sydney to Manila, in the Philippines. A lesser man than Alan would not have completed the work, and we would not be so fortu­nate in having the history of our Club recorded for all time. 

The Committee believes that this outstanding contribution must be recognised. 

Alan, now 31, is the son of Vice-President Geoff. May and a brother of Barry, Rick and Phil, all of whom rowed. 

Alan rowed initially for Sydney High School, being a member of the High Eight of 1956. On leaving school, he joined Sydney and rowed successfully in Maiden ranks until a back ailment. brought about premature retirement from the Active ranks. He coached successfully at Sydney High for some years before taking an overseas trip. On his return he joined the coaching ranks at the Club, and was also a Selector. ln 1965 he joined the Committee when a vacancy occurred, and was elected Honorary Treasurer for 1966/67, 1967/68 and 1968/69. Late in 1968 he accepted an appointment with the Asian Development Bank in the Philippines. 

Alan May is a man of great ability and drive. He is a Master of Economics from the University of Sydney; in the sporting field he is now President of the Manila Boat Club in the Philippines and was instrumental in arranging for oarsmen from the Philippines to visit Sydney for our Cen­tenary Regatta. 

Alan has served the Club well and we feel sure that all will agree that he is worthy of this high honour. 

Andrew Guerin
December 2020

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