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Roger Drummond

Above: Roger in the six seat of the 1969 Tasmanian eight

11 Nov 1947 – 11 Nov 2010

Lindisfarne Rowing Club (TAS), Buckingham Rowing Club (TAS) and Mercantile Rowing Club (VIC)

1967 – Interstate Championships King’s Cup (Tas) – reserve

1968 – Tasmanian State Championships Men’s Eight – first

1969 – Tasmanian State Championships Men’s Eight – first

1969 – Tasmanian State Championships Men’s Four – first

1969 – Tasmanian State Championships Men’s Pair – first

1969 – Interstate Championships King’s Cup (Tas) – six seat – 4th

1972 –Victorian State Championships Men’s eight (Mercantile) – second

1973 –NSW State Championships Men’s eight (Mercantile) – second

1973 –Victorian State Championships Men’s eight (Mercantile) – second

For many years up to his suden death in 2010, a prominent Tasmanian school, club and State rowing coach. He also

Roger’s good friend Senator Catryna Bilyk (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) spoke about Roger in a Senate adjournment debate and the following is largely taken from her tribute.

Roger Drummond was born in Iraq to British parents who eventually settled in Australia. Roger’s early childhood was spent in the Tasmanian highlands in the small Hydro Tasmania village of Bronte Park. The family moved to the Huon Valley for a time and eventually settled in Hobart, where Roger completed his schooling. He went to the University of Tasmania, moved to Melbourne for a time where he worked for Shell [and rowed for Mercantile Rowing Club], returned to Tasmania and completed an economics degree at the university, and worked as an accountant and in the finance industry with Citibank. With his wife, Lee, he owned and operated a number of catering establishments and pubs, including Newlands House, the Goulburn, Hadley’s and Nickleby’s. He worked in real estate before joining Hydro Tasmania in 1995 and, after it was disaggregated in 1998, worked for Aurora Energy.

Roger Drummond, or ‘Drummo’, was a lot of things to a lot of people. He was a son who was devoted to his parents, Frank and Mindy. He was a brother to Pev. Roger was a loving and devoted husband to Lee—they married in 1968—and a wonderful father to four now-adult children: Kelly, Georgie, Sam and Jacqui. He was a grandfather, a sportsman, a mentor, an accountant, a teacher, a publican, a real estate agent, a salesman, a lover of old cars. He was a great digger of ditches and builder of fences and in his spare time he was also a renovator of homes. At one stage when the children were little, the family lived in 13 houses in 10 years.

He was a senior rowing coach at several of Hobart’s private schools, the most recent being Hutchins. He coached for many years at the New Norfolk Rowing Club. In the words of Peter Wade, President of Rowing Tasmania:

Roger was one of Tasmania’s finest rowing coaches and his knowledge of rowing is second to none. There are countless young women and men that have benefited from Roger’s wise counsel and sage advice. As a coach, Roger had the uncanny ability to engage with his athletes, understand exactly what each individual needed and was then able to encourage, persuade and convince that athlete to achieve way beyond the limitations that they may have placed upon themselves. He encouraged people to believe in their ability, to be part of a team and to perform at levels that surprised us all. Roger would have a special word and a little message for each of his rowers that would set the scene and give them the self-belief to take on all comers.

Roger could take a bunch of fairly average athletes and turn them into champions. So many of his proteges are lifelong friends they share a common bond, a bond that was forged by Roger Drummond.

Roger Drummond was far more than a rowing coach; he was a life coach. He had a rare gift of communication. He was astute and honest but his comments were always fair and considered. He was always able to get his message across with humour and instilled in his group self belief and teamwork—nobody could take offence at his cheeky humour. His message was always clear and positive, he got the best and gave his best to all those around him.

Roger speaking to his Hutchins crew after receiving their medals

The tribute on the Rowing Australia website in 2010 stated: Roger Drummond was a unique individual, a person that we are truly privileged to have known. His success as a coach is well documented and his knowledge of rowing is second to none. Two of Roger’s athletes (Kate Hornsey and Kerry Hore) have just won silver medals at the World Championships in NZ. There are countless young women and men that have benefited from Roger’s wise counsel and sage advice. As a coach, Roger had the uncanny ability to engage with his athletes, understand exactly what each individual needed and was then able to encourage, persuade and convince that athlete to achieve way beyond the limitations that they may have placed upon themselves. He encouraged people to believe in their ability, to be part of a team and to perform at levels that surprised us all.

Compiled from various sources including an adjournment debate in the Australian Senate where Senator Catryna Bilyk (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) paid tribute to her friend Roger Drummond on 22 November 2010, Rowing Australia and Rowing Tasmania tributes and Andrew Guerin.

April 2019

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