Farewell Billy, you legend
FAMILY and friends of William (Billy) Rowlands said their last farewell to “The Colt” today (Thursday) at one of the biggest funeral services Cowra has seen in many a year.
Mourners at St John’s Anglican Church were so many that more than 200 were forced to congregate outside the church on a bleak and rainy autumn morning, the service being relayed through loudspeakers.
Mr Rowlands, 89, the former owner of the well-known district property Greylands, died last Friday morning.
He was heavily involved in many community and state organisations.
In 2000 he received the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to his beloved game of Rugby Union and unstinting service to the Cowra community.
His involvement in rugby led him to hold executive positions with Country Rugby Union, State Rugby Union and as New South Wales delegate to the Australian Rugby Union
Mr Rowlands was also integral to the development of the Cowra Rugby Club, whose members honoured him some years ago with a special viewing area known as the Old Colt’s Box at the club’s West Cowra grounds.
Often called the “The Old Colt”, Mr Rowlands was also involved in a variety of Cowra community organisations – among them to have enjoyed his involvement the Cowra Jockey Club, Cowra District Hospital, Red Cross, Cowra Vietnam Veterans’ Association of which he was patron, and the Country Women’s Association.
Mr Rowlands also was an integral organiser of the Light Horse Brigade for Cowra’s ANZAC Day commemoration services and parade.
For many years he drove voluntarily for Cowra Community Transport and Cowra District Hospital.
In 1992 he was named as the Cowra Citizen of the Year.
Past and present Cowra Rugby Club members formed a guard of honour (above left) as the hearse left St John’s Anglican Church after the funeral service for interment in Cowra Cemetery.