A brief profile of Roger Wilson, OAM

Roger and Margaret Wilson
Induction into Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame, April 2018, With Joe Joyce, President Victorian Rowing

As we all know at Beaumaris Probus, Roger is a very positive, larger than life person and President of our club in 2018. He certainly doesn’t need a microphone!

Roger is one of eight children—4 boys and 4 girls and he is the second eldest. He was born in Melbourne on 10th April 1944. After his first two years in Ivanhoe, the family of five at that time moved to Sale in Gippsland. In 1954 the family now numbering eight moved to Brighton where the final two kids were born. His parents Betty and Norman lived for more than 50 years in South Road in a house that is still there today

Roger was educated at Brighton Grammar and Monash University. At Brighton Grammar he was both a rower and a football player. He rowed two Head of Rivers in 1961/62 and played footy for the firsts for 3 years. Since leaving BGS he played 214 games for Old Brighton Amateurs.

Since 2007 Roger has been semi retired and is practicing as a consultant and mentor. His last full-time role was 21 years at the helm of Forty Winks Franchising and when he retired in 2007 there were 93 franchised Forty Winks stores across Australia– considerable growth from 17 stores when he started in 1987.

Roger has been President of the Victorian Franchise Council and Director of the National Board and is only one of 31 inductees in the Australian Franchise Hall of Fame—where he has been Past Chairman and is on the current Committee

He is currently on three Boards of Managements; Hotondo Homes, PY Fencing Australia Pty Ltd and Robert Gordon Pottery and does a lot of mentoring small businesses through The Small Business Mentoring Service(SBMS)

Roger is well known for his rowing commentating and rowing journalism —covering all major regattas in Victoria for over 50 years and is the ABC rowing commentator with “The Voice of Rowing” —covering 43  Kings Cup and National Rowing Championships and 42 APS Head of The River Regattas in Victoria and has covered four Olympic Games rowing and four World Rowing Championships

In 2000 Roger was one of only 2000 Sports People awarded The Australian Sports Medal and in June 2009 he was awarded The Order of Australia Medal for services to the sport of rowing, particularly as a media commentator as well as to business & to the Community

For 8 years Roger has been The Patron of the Flying Doctor Rowathon over 82km in a day on The Murray and Darling Rivers at Wentworth in October Each Year

In the past he has been Chairman of The Uniting Church in Beaumaris for 5 years & District Commissioner for Scouting in The Mordialloc District for 8 years

Roger is a member of four Masonic Lodges & has been a Past Master on 4 occasions at Brighton Grammarians Lodge.

Roger has interests in a number of sports other than rowing—a member of Kingston Heath Golf Club, Life Member of Old Brighton Grammarians Football Club & regularly attends games at Brighton Beach Oval, Staunch supporter of The Magpies in The AFL & has attended every AFL Grand Final since 1956. He is keen on Horse Racing, loves bike riding & swimming and is interested in many other sports

He has been happily married to Margaret for 48 years & they have three daughters—Andy, Juli & Mardi and he adores 6 grandchildren

For 40 years Roger has been Compere and Convenor of The Beaumaris Community Christmas Eve Carols

In April 2018, Roger was inducted into the Rowing Victorian Hall of Fame.4