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Geoff Lewis will be sadly missed

Geoffrey Rhys Lewis 16/4/1925 – 28/9/2014
It is with regret that I would like to inform you of the passing of my father ‘Geoff’, on Sunday 28th September 2014, who was an active member of the club for many years. He was a vice president for life.

My dad first went to the club (Taff Rowing Club) in the mid 1930’s to become a cox. This was on the encouragement of his uncle – Harold Williams – who was a keen member of the Taff club at the time. The family were all from Llandaff.

That rowing association lasted you might say for almost 80 years.

From being a cox he rowed in the 40’s and 50’s. He coached in the 60’s and 70’s. I take great pride in telling you he was the coach to Jerry and Tim Luke taking them from fledgling new members in the mid 50’s to immensely successful provincial rowers to almost reaching the GB Olympic Rowing Team for the 1960 Rome Olympics. Their subsequent success at the 1962 Perth Empire Games (representing Wales and winning silver in the coxless fours) had an undisputed connection with the rowing skill, power and guts they developed with my father.

He introduced me to the club as a cox in the late 60’s and I enjoyed a great number of the years at the club until university and my working life took me away from the area in the late 70’s early 80’s.

Into the 80’s Dad’s connection was principally social via the Society of Watermen and attending club dinners. I’m proud to say I attended a few with him.

Recent years saw his health start to decline but he never lost interest in rowing and the club regularly featured in our conversations.

I am proud of the fact that dad was one of the faithful who after the war came back and picked up the remains of Taff and Cardiff Rowing Clubs and helped forge Llandaff RC.

His club contemporaries honoured him with the office of captain, chairman, committee member, secretary and chairman of the Watermen. He really put his time in during the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. He was a great club member. He was also well known in the wider rowing world enjoying the ‘espirit de corps’ with other local clubs and beyond.

He has passed onto me a treasure trove of memories and anecdotes. I am also pleased that we have many wonderful photographs and pieces of memorabilia of his time with club. Undoubtedly his time with Llandaff and rowing gave him great enjoyment, a sense of fulfilment and wonderful friendships. I hope those life experiences still endure for today’s members and supporters via the great sport that rowing is.

Finally, on reflecting on my dad’s time with the club it would be remiss of me not to mention my mum Mags. She is no longer with us but believe me she did her time in the tea tent on many a regatta day when there was a big marquee on the cathedral lawn and mountains of bread had to be buttered and gallons of tea dispensed!

Happy days – God bless them both!

With best wishes to the club and all its members for continued success and growth.

The funeral for Geoff Lewis (G.R.Lewis) with be on Monday 13th October 2014. Service at Llandaff Cathedral 1.30pm, Crem at 3pm and a gathering at Llandaff rowing club at 4pm.

Chris Lewis