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Oct 312012

The following is a transcript of Steve Minnikin MP, State Member for Chatsworth speaking in Parliament. October 30 2012.

(10.21 pm): I rise in the chamber to honour a very special person from the Chatsworth electorate—the late Mr Rowly Cowan, who passed away on 1 September 2012 at 84 years of age. A life well lived is gauged not by what you materially accumulate but rather what it is you achieved and the lives you have touched. On this measure, Rowly was indeed a very rich man. Mr Cowan up until his passing was a dedicated member of the Camp Hill Carina Welfare Association, an association that he was integral in establishing in 1957 together with a small group of concerned residents who wanted to provide sporting facilities to encourage local youth to partake in sport and recreation. The inaugural meeting of this association was held where the Carina Bowls Club stands today and was the start of a 55-year-long volunteering role for Mr Cowan. During this time Mr Cowan held many positions such as founding Treasurer, President from 1979 to 1993 and lastly Secretary, from which he retired only this year. Mr Cowan was also a life member and trustee of the association. At this meeting it was also decided that another prominent member of the community, Mr Clem Jones, together with Mr Cowan would approach council to seek a lease of five acres of land to create sporting facilities for children.

Mr Cowan will be remembered for not only his ties with the Camp Hill Carina Welfare Association but also playing an integral role in the creation of the Crackerjack Carnival, which has now been held consecutively for 39 years since 1973. A sheet metal worker by trade, Mr Cowan was most certainly not afraid of hard work, and this was proven by his efforts towards physically being on the tools to create what is now known as the Clem Jones Centre that is home to 20 different sports and literally thousands of registered sports players. Without people like Mr Cowan, the Clem Jones Centre would never have been developed into the wonderful sporting precinct it is today. Mr Cowan’s contribution to the centre was acknowledged with the centre’s basketball stadium being named after him, the Rowland Cowan Stadium. The Crackerjack Carnival is still one of the cheapest entertainment events in Queensland. This was something close to Mr Cowan’s heart as he wanted a carnival that could be accessible for local children who may not have been able to afford other events such as the Brisbane Ekka. Mr Cowan’s contributions to the community for his many endeavours were also recognised in 2011 at the Australia Day Achievement Awards where he was awarded a certificate of achievement from then Lord Mayor Campbell Newman. His widow, Mrs Jane Cowan, as well as his daughters, Judith and Deborah, should be very proud of Mr Cowan’s many outstanding contributions to the Chatsworth electorate. It gives me much pride not only as the member for Chatsworth but as a local resident of the area to honour such a special gentleman who dedicated a lifetime to making a real difference for the Chatsworth community.

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