The AMMC are saddened to farewell long serving AMMC Board Member, and occasional Treasurer, Rob Bowring OAM, who passed away on Saturday 27 February 2021 after a long battle with cancer.
Rob was much admired and greatly respected, not least for the energy, humour, and good company he brought to the AMMC Board, and as an attendee and significant contributor at AMMC meetings, conferences, workshops, and associated activities, over a period in excess of 10 years.
Despite his illness, he continued to make a significant contributions of his time and energy to the preservation of maritime and river heritage as the Chair of the Mannum Dock Museum of River History, a member of the AMMC Board, and a member of the Australian Register for Historic Vessels (ARHV) Council.
That 22 boats gathered at Goolwa, SA, for a sail past on Sunday 28 February 2021 to pay tribute to Rob, is a clear indication of the esteem in which he was held by his fellow river men and women. At the conclusion of Rob’s funeral, on Friday 05 March 2021, at Mannum, a sail past also occurred in Rob’s honour.
As the Chairman of the Mannum Dock Museum's Board, and as a hands on volunteer, he was the leader and an integral part of the workforce, that led to the transformation of the Museum. It is now has more than 25,000 visitors per year and is nationally recognised as the museum that best tells the story of the maritime history of the Murray and Darling rivers and of the paddle steamers that traded and travelled the lengths of both river systems.
He was also the driving force in the restoration, to a fully operational condition, of the paddle steamer Marion, and then ensuring that this historic vessel remained in survey, and operating, for the benefit, of the visitors to Mannum, and, ultimately, for the Nation.
When speaking with Rob it was clear that his passion and enthusiasm for the river, its people and boats, came from a deep understanding of the river as the fundamental heart and soul of the communities along it, giving the river people a unique identity.
The AMMC Board are very proud and grateful to have had Rob’s involvement and support for so many years. We celebrate the fact that Rob took great deal of pride in the community that he worked so hard and tirelessly for and believe his work and inspiration will endure long into the future.
As Deb Alexander, the Mannum Dock Museum Executive Officer, said; 'His endless and tireless devotion and passion to maritime history did not waiver until his last days. Our Nation has lost a great river man who worked for the past 30 years to preserve and promote inland water heritage vessels across Australia'.
Our sincere condolences, and thoughts, are for Rob’s family and all those who knew him.
Monday 26th October 2020
Press release - For immediate release
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