Earlier this year the OS Club shared the sad news that Robert Rowland tragically passed away in a diving accident near his home in the Bahamas on 23rd of January, aged just 54. Robert was a politician who served as a Brexit Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South East England from 2019 until the UK’s exit from the EU in 2020.
Click here to read Robert’s obituary from The Times.
A reunion in Robert’s memory was organised by lifelong friend from his School House days, James Blackhall (SH 78-83), and was well-attended by his many other friends from Sedbergh. The weekend-long reunion took place on 13th and 14th November; other OS in attendance included Richard Page (P 79-84), John Litton (W 79-84), Freddie Peart (W 79-84), Mark Stephenson (E 76-79), Adam Holdsworth (SH 79-84), Aidan Jackson (E 79-84), Roger Peart (W 85-90), James Heeley (H 78-84), Tom Page (P 82-86) and Paul Parkinson (H 79-84) along with all their wives and two Old Oundelians.
The group met for a lunch in the Hirst Centre before the 1st XV match against Warwick, which was followed by a traditional walk up Winder and then dinner in Sedbergh town. The following day the group attended the Remembrance Sunday Service at the School Cloisters and were welcomed for a Drinks Reception in School House. The weekend culminated with a lunch at the Black Bull.
“Robert was a strong runner in the first 8 and shot for the School at Bisley, he also competed in Junior Wimbledon. His love of sport was a key part of his life; ironically he was probably one of the fittest men I know in his 50’s,” James explained. “He was out diving with two of his sons and tragically passed out and drowned and the could not be resuscitated.”
“Robert dearly wanted his boys to come to Sedbergh and we came up to see Andrew Fleck and Chris Hattam, he also came to watch Alfie run The 10 and watch him play 1st XV at Rugby School’s centenary match. He was loyal to his friends and school and most of his closest friends were all Sedberghians.
The OS community has been amazing- we shared many a story, shed a tear or two and opened a fine claret!”
Robert leaves his wife Lisa Marie and four children.