Home page Rocket Kitchen

Obituary: Kerry Ashby

  • 04 Mar 15

Kerry Ayling Ashby (4 September 1928- 3 March 2015). Olympian #63

It is with great sadness that Rowing New Zealand report the loss of a significant member of the rowing community. Kerry Ashby was a Rowing New Zealand Life Member and former President of the New Zealand Rowing Association, and was also a Life Member of West End Rowing Club.

At the highest level of the sport he won two silver medals at the Empire Games (Commonwealth Games) in the Coxed Four at the Games in Vancouver 1954, and the Men’s Eight in 1950 at Auckland. He also represented New Zealand as part of the Olympic team that competed in 1952 at Helsinki in the Coxed Four.

In his early rowing days Kerry Ashby attended Mt Albert Grammar School from 1943 to 1946.In 1946, he was a prefect, the rowing captain and a member of the 1st XV. He was also a member of the 1st Rowing VIII in 1945-1946. His passion for school rowing didn’t stop there he also coached the Mt Albert Grammar Rowing team from 1966-1978 and in 1976, was Manager of New Zealand Rowing team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. At the club level Ashby represented West End with distinction winning the Men’s Championship Eights five times, the first in 1949 and again in 1951, 1952, 1953 and again in 1963. He also won the Men’s Championship Coxed Four in 1953 and the Men’s Championship Double Scull in 1956.

In 2008 Ashby helped Mt Albert Grammar revive the rowing programme with a group of old boys out of West End Rowing Club. The school had been missing from the rowing scene since 1986 when they last fielded a Senior eight crew. In 2008 seven rowers joined the foundation squad that year, the rowing programme at the school has grown from strength to strength with girls joining the rowing squad in 2011 and by 2012 the school programme had grown to more than 40 pupils.