Alllan G W Garraway - A Tribute

posted by Roy Sinclair - 8 Jan 2015, 8:37 p.m.

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Reverend Walker, colleagues and friends of Allan.

It is my privilege and an honour to be invited to present this small tribute to my friend and the first honorary member of Inverness Rowing Club.

By past and present members of the Club, Allan is remembered with gratitude for the huge contributions he made to rowing and to our Rowing Club.

Allan's rowing in his younger days featured mainly with his college crews at St Catherine's College at Cambridge University where he excelled in university rowing and later at a club in the Doncaster area.

Much later, settled with his devoted wife Moyra in their Speyside home at Boat of Garten, Allan spotted a rowing report from the Inverness Courier describing one of the Club's early regattas in the late 1980's. This inspired Allan to take up the sport again.

And take it up he did - with great gusto, determination and amazing enthusiasm.

Such was his commitment - that he soon bought not one single sculling boat but also a double sculling boat - so that he could commit himself and be able to enjoy regular training outings in his leisure time on the superb rowing waters of the Caledonian Canal. Incidentally he also allowed both these boats for use by club members.

Such was his enthusiasm for the sport that even in exceptionally inclement weather conditions, Allan would regularly make the trip from Boat of Garten for an outing - which in the days before the club had a boathouse - involved separately carrying his oars and then his sculling boat a distance of over 400 metres from where the boats were stored in Jim Hogan's garden - all the way to the launching slipway on the canal banks. Allan would then have his outing over 6 miles and then do everything in reverse before travelling home to Boat of Garten. Quite a feat for a retired gentleman in his mid 60's.

Allan also took part in club regatta events and was a member of the club eights crew which rowed Loch Ness in October 1991 to raise funds towards the cost of the club boathouse which was opened in May 1992. At the opening event both Allan, as the club's oldest member, and Alan Hogan, the club's youngest member, were the celebratory crew for the day - coxed by the Provost of Inverness, Allan Sellar.

As secretary and treasurer of the Club in its early days, Allan helped to steer the Club to the lease of the ground where the boathouse stands. He also helped many novice rowers in their earliest stages on the water and he donated generously to the Club which included the two boats mentioned earlier. Allan also assisted with support to purchase a new double scull which was appropriately named ''STRATHSPEY'' with Allan's full approval to reflect his Highland home and railway connections.

Over the years of his active membership, Allan kept a meticulous record of all his rowing outings and it's amazing to state that between the years of 1989 and 2002, Allan recorded a total of 1091 outings on the canal in a variety of boats from single sculls to eights.

In recent years, Allan regularly followed the activities of the Club and its members by word of mouth and from rowing reports in the local and national press.

In his retirement from rowing, Allan donated his rowing vest and kit for use by club members - and to this day - his Inverness club rowing vest travels the world to international rowing regattas used regularly by one of the Club's GB rowing team members.

Several years ago Allan donated the Club's single sculling trophy which bears his name - the trophy being raced for on an annual basis by club members.

For Allan's outstanding support, dedication, commitment and enthusiasm, we WILL remember him.

Roy R Sinclair - Hon President, Inverness Rowing Club

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