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australian rowers profiles and history

Ian Toll

Sydney 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.

Soon after leaving school, Ian joined the NSW Police Force and went on to serve in this organization for thirty years. He reached the rank of Senior Sergeant and was, for a time, the Press Secretary to the Minister of Police. For service and good conduct he received, after twenty five years, the National Medal and Bar. After leaving the police force he took on the job of manager of the SHS Foundation. The main functions of the Foundation are to facilitate reunions and to promote fund-raising among the SHS alumni. Ian worked in this capacity from 1993 to 1998.

 Ian made a radical change to the direction of his career path in 1994. Having already been made a Justice of the Peace in 1977, he took a further step and applied to become, and was officially appointed as, a Civil Celebrant. In this role he conducted naming days, marriages, reaffirmation of vows and funerals, services which he continues to offer.

In the sporting and outdoors field Ian has been especially active over the decades since leaving school. At first, he continued his  rugby career and played on the wing for St George in First and Reserve grades from 1961 to 1963. He did not forget rowing. As a member of Sydney Rowing Club, Ian stroked the Senior Eight during the ‘60/’61 season with a win at the Mosman regatta. In addition he, along with other Old Boys May and Letts, and coxswain Lloyd,  rowed in the SRC Senior Four. This crew had several wins over the ’ 60/’61 season. After a lull, rowing again became a prominent part of his life when, in 1980, he re-invigorated police rowing and organized a crew to participate in FISA and World Masters events. Ian has continued with Masters rowing and has, over the period between 1980 and 2000, competed in events in Europe, USA, New Zealand and Australia. A year or two ago Ian could be seen at a Master’s event at Lake Burley Griffin. He was competing (successfully) in a double sculls event, crewed with an old Haberfield rival against whom SHS used to row in the 1950s. How ironic!

In other arenas, Ian has  been prominent in the organization process. He instigated the ‘000’ Games (Police/Ambulance/Fire Brigade) in Sydney in 1986 and was manager of the NSW team to the International Police Olympics from 1982 to 1988, competing himself in rowing and athletics. Another area of interest, which persists to this day, is the Surf Life Saving Association. In 1966 Ian became a foundation member of the Elouera Police-Citizens Life Saving Club. For decades past the Cronulla area had been served by three clubs—Cronulla, North Cronulla and Wanda. The long stretch of sand between Wanda and North Cronulla was crying out for a new surf club, and so, in 1966, Elouera was born. Ian has become the first life member of the Elouera Club. Over the years he has held positions from Club Captain to President. Since 2002 he has been Club Boat Captain. At a national level Ian was, from 1974 to 1985 the honorary Public Relations officer for the national council of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia. In 2001 he was appointed CEO of Surf Life Saving, Sydney Branch. This covers fifteen clubs within the Sydney area.

Ian presently lives at Gymea which gives him ready access to his Elouera club. He is married to Sheridan, They have two children who keep them very busy.

Ian Stewart
April 2009

Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management