Many current and past members of RRC mourn the passing of Roberto Perillo. There has been a reoccurring comment from members that Roberto was ‘a great bloke or guy’. He was much more to many of us than just a great guy.
Roberto joined RRC in 1998, but he was already an accomplished rower. He had rowed in Argentina, his home country, and he told stories of the difference in rowing between Australia and Argentina. The one lasting difference I recall is that in Argentina they have boatmen to launch and collect the boats on behalf of the rowers!
In 2004 Roberto gathered together four women to become a RRC Female Masters crew that he would coach. One of the women was Kathryn Penny who Roberto had meet at a personal development course, and encouraged to do the learn to row course at RRC. Their relationship developed, despite sometimes rowing together, and they married a couple of years later.
I had the privilege of being a part of this crew and benefitted greatly from Roberto’s tireless attention to providing us with dedicated coaching. We also under went extra weight training by having Roberto in the boat as the cox! The crew went on to take out several gold medals including State Masters Championships.
Roberto, Kathryn and Jenny Hall, entered the 2005 World Masters Games in Canada and represented RRC in several rowing crews.
Roberto was a very active RRC member and was always on hand to help out others and provide some knowledge from his years of experience. He served as Captain on the Committee for 5 years from 2003-2008 and was awarded Life Membership for his years of service as a member, a rower, a coach, a cox and Captain. He epitomised the values of our community club, giving back far more than he received.
Roberto was a gentleman, kind, thoughtful and generous and will be missed by many forever.