Rowley King

One of our founding members was Rowley King. He had a great influence in the establishment and structure of the Club in the early days. He had his hand on the tiller as the club developed. His wife Jill has provided a wonderful history of association, which in part explains why we think so highly of this man who lived the club motto to the fullest.

Rowley was one of those who answered the rallying call from Malcolm Mayhew back in 1968 for those interested in ‘Promoting the Comradeship of the Sea’. He served as an early President of the Club in 1970, but he was better known as Secretary, a position he held for something like  3 decades. Rowley was a founding Member, a Life Member, and a Distinguished Member of our Club. Jill says –  “he visited the Seven Seas Club of London and invited several members to come to Adelaide which they did”. Rowley was very involved in fostering  the relationship between the London Club and ourselves.

Rowley King was born on the 10th. February 1934, in Medindie – North Adelaide. From 1938 he was educated at Christchurch Day School, North Adelaide and from 1945 at St. Peters Collegiate. He achieved his Leaving Certificate and with this he hoped to gain an apprenticeship in the Merchant Navy. He also applied for a job in the Navy from the age of 13, but  was one of too many applicants as Jill puts it. Over the next nine years from 1950 to 1959 he completed his Apprenticeship to the Sea Service and worked as Second Mate with the Adelaide Steamship Co. and the Union Steamship Co. of New Zealand. During this period he served on ten different ships. He did National Service in 1953 and was enrolled as Midshipman at HMAS Cerberus. Despite pressure from the Navy he returned to his beloved Merchant Navy.

In 1960,  Rowley  married the lovely Jill-Doreen Fewster and they moved into their new home at Brighton. Daughters Marianne and Natalie came along in 1965 and 1967 respectively and he proved to be a wonderful father.

He joined the Sea Cadets Training Corps at T. S. ‘Adelaide’ as a Sub Lieutenant. Having been a Sea Scout as a boy, the Scouts claimed his services for some years as well, and he retired from the Association as District Commissioner. Meanwhile he’d been working as a salesman in his day job for various companies. He worked for Bradford Insulation for 12 years and his last employer before he retired was Quin Marine.

In retirement Rowley was fully involved with the Caring Canine Programme which included weekly visits with his dog Bosun, to Lifecare Retirement villages, allowing retirees and the aged, the benefit of animal company and companionship for even just a short while.

In 2000 he helped form a ‘barber shop’ quartet which expanded to become the Fleurieu Harmony Chorus, an a cappella group of which he was a leading bass singer. He got a lot of enjoyment from this activity and had a lovely deep voice.

Jill and Rowley eventually moved to a smaller home in Aldinga Beach, some 45 mins drive  south of Adelaide, but despite the extra travelling time this move created, he did not miss a Seven Seas Club Meeting which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Rowley relinquished his position as Secretary of the Club in 2010 and unfortunately he passed away suddenly in July 2011.
We would like to thank Jill and the girls for allowing Rowley to devote so much of his time to the Club and for providing us with this brief resume’ of a member who gave so much of  himself to the Club.


Return to ‘Members Only’ Page