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australian rowers profiles and history

Lloyd S Williams

Mercantile Rowing Club (VIC)

The following obituary was published in the Mercantilian in 1997.

Lloyd was born and educated in Sydney. He was both a fine scholar and an athlete, excelling in swimming and rowing, and he was 1946 NSW Rhodes Scholar after graduating from Sydney University. He kept his lifelong interest in rowing alive at Oxford University where he rowed for Brasenose College, and developed his interest in high strength materials.

Lloyd rowed at Mercantile in the Senior VIII, retiring in 1955. Taking up coaching at M.U.B.C. he was successful at both Intervarsity and Kings Cup level, where he coached the successful 1957 Kings Cup crew, stroked by Ian “Porky” Douglas QC.  Jack Morganti, Freddie (Mr Justice,) Frederico, David Boykett and Brian Dawes were all Mercantile members of that crew.

Lloyd then teamed up with Ron March of Richmond Rowing Club to be a most successful Kings Cup selection team. Lloyd followed on with Professor Cotton’s ideas on crew selection by enlisting the help of Drs Gandevia and Trethewie of Melbourne University to develop criteria for talent identification and selection by using ECGs, lung volumes and physical measurement as the factors. Later, while working at Repco he helped develop the air brake system that is the basis for the ergometers now used in world-wide talent identification.

Lloyd was also involved in the formation of the Monash University Boat Club and was the first president of that Club.

His victorious 1957 Victorian crew

Lloyd was always the gentleman of rowing whilst pursuing his ideas with passionate dedication. He had a very good eye for good rowing and was able to address the improvement of technique in the individual with great patience, by very effective coaching which sought perfection.

In his sixties Lloyd worked hard to regain fitness, and won gold at the Masters Games held in Canada. Even in his last years he had been experimenting with Ceramic Metals – Cermets – working to develop new materials. Rowing and Engineering will miss him greatly. He made an outstanding contribution in both areas.

Our thoughts are with Lloyd’s wife Pam (sister of Warwick “Wizzer” Granowski), and daughters Rowena and Victoria, and Lloyd’s granddaughter Georgia.


David Boykett


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