It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Paddy O’Brien, a stalwart member and supporter of the club, has passed away at the grand age of 95. He was a great character around the club and was made an Honorary Member in recognition of his many years of hard work particularly behind the bar.
Paddy joined the club around 1967 but he was never a rower. He was a keen angler and the story goes that one day having got fed up with the rowers messing up his fishing he decided to go to the club to speak his mind. He ended up at the bar drinking beer with those members who were there such as Tom Agutter and never looked back.
Paddy was ever-present at social events usually serving behind the bar and enjoying the banter. He would travel to regattas and head races to support the rowers but usually disappeared into the nearest bar for much of the day, often with Tom Agutter who was also partial to a drink!
Paddy was a carpenter and did various jobs for the club and the trophy cabinet in the clubroom is an example of his work. Probably because he worked with his hands he had a vice-like handshake and he took great delight in crushing the hands of otherwise tough rowers!
In recent years Paddy has not had the mobility to come to the club very often but when he was brought down by his family he slipped comfortably back onto the high stool at the end of the bar with a pint of bitter by his hand. The club has lost a real character and great supporter.
John Canton, Chairman