Passing of Trevor Rowse

In loving memory of Trevor Harold Rowse, 16 Nov 1935
By Sharon Duncan

It is with deep regret that we note, Trevor Rowse is not writing this article, because it is about him, the man who kept us up-to-date with written submissions about softball and the events of the day. 

At 10.30am this Saturday the 16th February 2013, as the Dean Schick Tournament was underway at Rosedale Park, North Harbour, Auckland, our stalwart journalist, Trevor Rowse was being laid to rest. Approximately 400 mourners gathered at Purewa Cemetery, Meadowbank, Auckland, to farewell Trevor Rowse, although I know, many more softballers were thinking about him as they carried on their competitions around the country.

Softballers both past and present, some in uniforms, most not, gathered to support Trevor’s family, to offer hugs and condolences to his wife Eve and the family he leaves behind. 

Trevor’s service was officiated by Peter Atkinson, who presented an almost theatrical blessing most befitting of the man who had devoted his life to education of the young, as a teacher and a principal, to his children, both his own and Eve’s who became his own over 42 years, to soccer, to softball, to his house renovations and his fresh home-grown fruit and veges.

Life-long friends gave us an insight into the Trevor Rowse we softballers may not have known, his work and family history, his hardships and conquests, ever repeating one common phrase “he was a gentleman” but we knew that part.

Armin Lindenberg recounted Trevor’s journalism life-span when he wrote softball reports for the NZ Herald, 8 o’clock and Sunday News papers, always by the deadline, mostly without even being paid. He particularly admired how Trevor had his own weekly column on the Auckland Softball Assn website.

Then Softball got a turn to speak but it wasn’t Ron Cochrane as listed in the “Order of Service”, Hilton Earley, President of Softball NZ came up to the podium and spoke of the Trevor we knew.

Trevor was still writing articles up to last weekend at Marist’s Brother Patrick Tournament, his articles can be found on ASA Trevor Rowse Media.

I talked to Ron Cochrane at the refreshments and he graciously conceded that he could not have recounted memories of Trevor without breaking down, he’d known Trevor so long and so well, through soccer and softball, it was just too hard to share.

Trevor’s son Jeffrey spoke for himself and brother Evan, about the devoted father they had, the mother they tragically lost and Trevor’s recovery from that loss in meeting Eve.

Eve, a widow then, had a family too and details were share by her son and Trevor’s step-son,  Robert, about the amalgamating of the two families and the builder Trevor, renovating the home to accommodate everyone. The strained pauses brought many a tear to the audience.
Grand-daughter Nicola spoke for the many grand-children, calling Trevor, poppa and handsome, fun-loving and a devoted grandfather. 
One would wonder, how he found the time to come to softball, but he did, right up until the end of his long, full life.

Trevor’s coffin, complete with a spray of freshly picked white lilies, was carried out to his favourite song “Take Me Out To The Ball Park”
As I settled back into this afternoon ‘s games at the Dean Schick Tournament at Rosedale, I couldn’t help but miss that familiar gentleman, in his seat, jotting down notes to post up later on that night.

God Bless you Trevor Rowse,
God Bless your family,
Rest in Peace knowing you will never be forgotten.

Black Sox Road to Rosedale 10 Trevor Rowse "Legend" from Rhys Duncan on Vimeo.

Passing of Trevor Rowse
by Linda Wood

He may have been a late starter to softball, but Trevor Rowse certainly made up for that with his involvement and passion for the game. An involvement that spanned close to six decades and saw Rowse, who died suddenly in Auckland on Wednesday, February 13 2013, take on many a role including playing, coaching and administrating the game.
Rowse’s own playing career started with the Richmond club in 1951 and then the newly established Bears’ club. While attending the Auckland Teachers’ Training College teams he played in their tournament team for two seasons. He was a member of the championship winning Auckland team in 1961. He also played for the successful Auckland United club side.
His playing and coaching career also included a stint while on his OE and living in London.
Combining his teaching career with his sport passion Rowse was in 1965 the co-initiator and organiser of the grand final system that saw all schools in the greater Auckland area invited to play in an eight zone competition with those final winners go on to the grand finals. This system is still in operation and provides all children, club members or not, with a chance to play the game at a higher level than had ever been possible previously.
Even when he was principal of Northcross Intermediate, which at the time was the largest such school in the country, he continued to coach and organise the tournaments for the school teams.
It was not just Auckland softball that benefited from Rowse. He was also, for three years the secretary of the Waikato East sub-association and revived the competitions between Matamata, Putaruru and Tokoroa and formed the first junior competition grade. With Rehe Joseph as manager, he coached the first Waikato representative team to win a national title when the under-14 boys’ side won in Auckland. While living in Matamata he revived the flagging local competition and was player, coach, organiser, umpire and prepared the diamonds.
His administration involvement saw him fulfil a variety of roles for the Auckland Softball Association – including three spells as president of that association. A life member of the association, Rowse was one of only few to have that honour and still be active within the association. He was also recognised at a national level with Rowse a receiving the Softball New Zealand distinguished service award two years ago.
However, it is perhaps his role in the media he was best known for. He first started writing about the game when he was in Matamata in 1962 and has continued ever since. Rowse provided softball copy for the now defunct papers the 8 O’clock, New Zealand Star-Times and Auckland Star. He also provided softball coverage for the Sunday News, the Sunday Star-Times and the New Zealand Herald and all the community papers in the greater-Auckland region. The latter requiring a huge commitment from Rowse with each article focused on teams within that particular paper circulation area and without receiving any fee from those papers.
He was among the media contingent that saw the Black Sox achieve their world championship three-peat in Christchurch in 2004 and was expected to be at Rosedale Park for next month’s tournament. He had already seen the tournament-bound Black Sox play, having attended last weekend’s Brother Patrick tournament in Auckland.
Rowse, who was 76, is survived by his wife Eve, five children, 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.