Memories of Rod Berry

I will always remember Rod as the gentle man with warm smile in the back seat.

In a double, Rod was a regular feature in the back seat of the TK2 he shared with Bert Laurendet. Together they were the most erratic performers of the time trial series. One month they would be six minutes down, the next nine minutes up.

He always had a story to tell and was quick to laugh at himself. Which was good considering some of the things that happened in boat 167. 167 being the combined aged of her crew Rod and Bert. A notable incident from a few years back… when Bert asked if Rod was ready to go and didn’t get a reply, he assumed Rod had his hearing aids out simply hadn’t heard him. Rod hadn’t replied because he was still on the beach, but Bert paddled off in the Tk2 by himself. A few months later the situation was reversed when Rod set off without Bert, and I can only assume it’s because every good joke needs a punch line.

The conversations we had about his trips to the cardiologist to have his pacemaker adjusted for racing will always make me laugh. He complained that the upper limit on the device was set too low and stopped him racing hard. By his account, the cardiologist turned it up 20bpm and I can confirm that his time trial handicap did improve. Rod loved life at the red line.

He was the self appointed grounds keeper of the Sutherland Shire Canoe Club, tending to the watering of the lawn and pulling of weeds. You can mark Rods absence by the dying grass around the club building.

Farewell old friend…


  1. Steve,
    Thank you for taking the time to remember Rod. Sue and I have very fond memories of Bert and Rod paddling together. Another member who will be sorely missed

  2. Farewell Rod. You will be sorely missed by the Grey Nomads & the rest of the club.We will miss your cheery smile.

  3. Sad that Rod won’t be down at the club when I am there next. Always helping and providing a lighter side to the situation was how I will remember Rod.
    I will find the photos of Rod giving me my first lessons when I bought what he told me was one of the tippiest K1s he had ever seen. Lots of laughing that morning as I spent most of the time in the water than on it.
    RIP Rod

  4. So sad I thought Rod would have made a come back
    Rod always had a tale to tell and a smile on his face another great one gone.

  5. We’ll miss you Rod.

  6. Its hard to replace bloke like him – All you can do is follow his examples.

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