Scroll To Top
australian rowers profiles and history

William G "Stonk" Ross

Mercantile Rowing Club (VIC)

William Gordon Ross

The following obituary has been extracted from the Club's 1972-73 annual report. Stock was an outstanding individual and Captain.

Mercantile lost a stirling member in "Stonk" Ross, who passed on during mid 1972 after a short illness. 

"Stonk", possessed of a quiet and charming personality, gathered a great many friends at Mercs and along the river bank. In his heyday he was a powerfully built athlete and a most successful competitor, tough and fiercely determined in the boat, where he was usually seen in the 6 seat. 

He was a member of the 1926 and 1927 Scotch Eight that won the Head of the River, and a Victorian representative in the 1939 King's Cup race in Brisbane. 

As Club Captain, "Stonk" was an inspiration. His term of office at the helm won him praise for his leadership and for the manner in which he received most harmonious support of the members. 

"Stonk" joined the R.A.A.F. at the outbreak of World War 2 and was a No. 1 course navigator. Whilst serving with 38 R.A.F. Squadron in "Wellington" bombers in the Middle East he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. 

After discharge from the R.A.A.F., he established a grazing property at Dunkeld, where he conducted several successful stud enterprises. He had an uncanny knowledge of stock and was a splendid horseman. 

Further interests in which he held executive positions were the Dunkeld R.S.L., Swimming Centre, Polo-Cross, Fire Brigade and the Grampians Golf Club. 

Some how he managed to find time to sail in the summer months. 

His great love was rowing, and few would deny that he was a great Mercantilian. 

Extracted by Andrew Guerin
February 2023

Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management