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australian rowers profiles and history

Ernst Wirtz

Mercantile Rowing Club then Alan Mitchell Club (VIC)

23 Sept 1935 - 2nd February 2024

Ernst was a man full of optimism and energy who lived life to the full. Having being born in Germany and surviving WWII as a child, no doubt life provided only upside.

Rowing was just one of the sports he enjoyed as a youngster. However undertaking and funding his education meant work and study took priority. He qualified as a mechanical engineer.

He moved to Australian in 1964 for initially two years. This was to remain his home after meeting his future wife Helen.

His rowing in Australia commenced at Mercantile Rowing Club when his children were small. However he was unable to maintain rowing with his other responsibilities.

Once his children had grown up, he recommenced his rowing with the Alan Mitchell Club. There he rowed three times a week and thoroughly enjoyed the sport. There he took on with gusto the Murray Marathon Rowathon, a 90 km one day event. His contribution to this event over many years was recognised with awards. The Royal Flying Doctor Service was the recipient of his good work.

He also raced overseas at World Masters in Bled in 2017.

The Alan Mitchell Club's tribute to Ernst was as follows:

Members of Alan Mitchell Rowing Club are deeply saddened by the death of Ernst, a much loved and valued member.

Ernst was active on the committee, part of the ’Unique’ boat crew and dedicated to supporting the Royal Flying Doctor Service Rowathon.

A founding member of the club who was always there to give his support with good humor and a twinkle in his eye.

Rest in peace dear Ernst

Our sincere condolences to Helen and family.

His children and grandchildren were shown the beauty and joys of the sport of rowing.

Andrew Guerin
February 2024

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