James Rowe

died Sunday 14th September 2008
Jim with guitar at a Phantom do
Photo courtesy Cam and Simone

Eulogy for James Rowe as read by Jim's sister Marion at Jim's funeral on Friday, 19th September, 2008 at Kelvin Grove, Brisbane.

Our Brother, Uncle, Friend and Mate.

Our Jim – our Jimbo, was born James Craig Rowe in September 1952 to our parents, Bell and Jack, at St George, in Queensland of course, as we all knew around State of Origin time, particularly if you are a cockroach and support the hated blues.

Our sister Helen arrived a few years later to a delighted Jim, his first mate, someone to play with, to climb fences, chase the animals, play games and all in bare feet.

I arrived a couple of years later. A true disappointment to Jim, I liked dolls, played indoors, and always wore shoes. But I suspect Jim, always alert to an opportunity, never early to discard, marked me for future use - "Potential Friend".

Our Mum always said she knew from the start, this was a gregarious smart boy. He was to be our free spirit. He shared a strong bond with our mother who set the foundations early for Jim’s lifelong thirst for knowledge and learning on the widest range of subjects. We didn’t need google we had Jim.

There was Jim running between each street light to read his book, as we caught up, walking home from our weekly visit to the Bulimba library, back to 63 Bilyana Street, the house we called home.

Jim was an aussie kid of the 50’s and 60’s, we were working class, and Jim was proud of it, as he climbed the hill to Bulimba State School, to pull on a footy jumper or pad up to bat. His love for sport, all thing sport, started then and never stopped.

Those Bilyana Street days were true “cricket in the back yard” or, when Mum and Dad had had enough, in the spare Council allotment next to 63 known to all of us as “the Lane”.

Jimmy Rowe and his mates played the game, if they were short a man, Helen would get the call.

The gift our parents gave us was to make sure we had an education, the first really big wave of working class kids, who were going to universities. Jim was on that wave, and Jim did his part.

He got himself into Brisbane State High, which was no mean feat in the 60’s. He won a scholarship to the University of Queensland. Dad was proud, Mum was relieved – she didn’t know where she would have found the money, but she would have.

University in the ‘70’s’ was the place to be, lots of friends, freedom from parental constraints, just the place for, a maths science student, who had studied latin and French, to sharpen his card skills, work on his lightning sense of humour, expand his sporting interests, lay the foundations for some serious lifelong partying, start that lifetime love of music, get serious about surfing, - and the personality grew, the free spirit blossomed.

No lack of ability for our Jim just a lack of passion for studying something his heart wasn’t in it. There were so many other things to learn, so many friendships to make. Jim made deep long lifetime friends and mates.

But he knew he had to work to secure him in his pursuit of his dreams and, contrary to popular belief, Jim was capable of working.

Having marked me “for future use potential friend” he checked in with me about this accounting gig that I had chosen. I told him it was pretty easy, he could do it easily, and it could fit his needs. Only one big drawback he may have to deal with clients.

Luckily for Jim, after stints at various places, including some very important years in PNG, working, running, diving and partying. Jim found himself the perfect place to work for the next 20 years. A place where he could work and surf.

Working in Stafford here in Brisbane, max 4 days, (40 chargeable hours), a week and surfing on the coast the other days.

Everyone had a nickname, Jim’s address book is unfathomable. His nephew and nieces did not escape, Jim would often ask me – “how are the coppertops”.

Jim was self assured, perfecting the work and surf mantra, extending the surf component to 2 to 3 months in Sri Lanka for some years, stints in Japan, Costa Rica and other locations and then settling on Bali for the annual ritual where he became part of the local fabric.

Many of us envied this but never had the courage to execute.

But, here for Jim there was only one coast, our south coast where Saturday the surfing community will farewell Jim in their own magical way on the water.

While, here today, we landlubbers do that.

We loved him so much,
And fate was unkind,
He went away first;
He left us behind.

The pain in our heart
Will remain for awhile
But yesterday’s gone
Today we will smile.

The part of Marion's eulogy written by Jim's niece Angela is here

Cam Hay's eulogy is here

Photos from Jim's funeral here soon.

Some photos from the paddle out ceremony to remember Jim HERE
Paddle out photos courtesy Amelia Bradshwaw and Matt

Virgin Festival, March 2007, watching David Johansen and the New York Dolls
Virgin Festival, March 2007, Pixies headlined
Photo courtesy Megan Thomas showing Cam and Jim at the Virgin (V) Festival at Avica Resort on the Gold Coast on 1 April 2007
where Pixies headlined top photo is Jim and Megan sussing David Johansen and his seminal band New York Dolls

NobbsSean Jimbo and I am not sure who this is I am sorry
Photo courtesy Rebecca Wilkie from her engagement party in 1991

Megan Jim Simone
Photo courtesy Cam and Simone Hay

Photos above and below courtesy Chris and Jane Garrett showing Jim and Squizz entering Jane Garrett's 40th hoedown
Jim teaching Sally Garrett to lounge surf, new years eve, Jim and friend Miki, chipmunkin'

March 2008
Jimbo and Miki

Jim looking at Q1 being builtHooded Jimbo

Photos below courtesy Megan Thomas showing a Straddie trip and party at the Hansens from 2004.
straddie ferry 2004

jim's tattoo
Jim showing his tatt and very fit looking 52y.o torso

Jim Cam Johny

Nobbs Jim Glynn Thomas

Jim Rowe and Peter Bayard at Pt. Lookout pub

Jim Rowe Megan Thomas Jim's Citroen
Jim Megan Citroen

Megan Thomas John Hansen Rebecca Wilkie Jim Rowe
Megan Johny Beccs unt Jimbo

Jim Rowe was an intelligent man and a deep, insightful thinker who liked to explore the depths of his and other's psychology to try to divine the basic truths that make up the human condition.

Jim was into live music, local music and good music but mostly good local live music. He had very good taste in music and an amazing music collection.

Knowing Jim and being with him was more about collecting amazing experiences than anything else though.

I personally am grateful to Jim for introducing to the writings of Charles Bukowski and Hunter S Thompson who had influenced Jim with their reality writing and fresh vision of literature to be written as near as possible to how the events of life really occur without literary embellishment and bullshit.

Jim loved the road trip with a mission a la Fear and loathing in Las Vegas, with lots of drama and edge and harrowing moments usually while trying to score and then drive and score and drive etc.
There were many different versions of the Jim's fear and loathing road trips...to see a band or go to a party (my favourites) .or road trips to go for a surf, to visit friends or just to find some fun and meet some (hopefully) interesting people ...

the trips usually had a fair degree of intensity which was part of being with Jim..

Jim liked the trip to be declared a "mission" of some sort or other, maybe just to pique our interest? but the goals were always to seek something new and intense and different and to complete the mission in an extraordinary way.

He didn't like mundane things or events to unfold in a staid and boring manner, he wanted it big, exciting, loud and different.

For the mission to be deemed a successs the car had to be right i.e. cruise missile, the music had to be right, the company had to be right, the substances had to be right and when the ingredients were mixed perfectly and the mission was decided -BANG - you could expect something quite bizarre and most definitely interesting - usually full of drama and colour and laughter and usually while very very wasted.

Jim was always looking for something I am not sure he found it but he was more into the journey anyways.
I wished him happiness but he wanted raw experience more than suburban happiness.

Bye Jimbo thanks for the memories (and the music)!

Ways I remember Jim:

Books: see above
Movies: Repo Man see soundtrack list below
Music: Psychotic Turnbuckles

Please email me to add photos or written remembrances here.
Sorry if this is skewed towards the period from the early 80's to early 00's when I was good mates with Jim, he had millions of mates from different periods of his life Zav,Ross Mowatt, Nigel, Bayard, Megan's brother Derek, Phantom, Fox wetsuits Lou, Al Byrne, IH mob, State High mob, QUT, UQ.

Here is an anecdote I have written bout Jimbo, a girl, good surf and a missing condom.

1. Repo Man - Iggy Pop
2. TV Party - Black Flag
3. Istitutionalized - Suicidal Tendencies
4. Coup D'Etat - The Circle Jerks
5. El Clavo Y La Cruz - The Plugz
6. Pablo Picasso - Burning Sensations
7. Let's Have A War - Fear
8. When The Shit Hits The Fan - The Circle Jerks
9. Hombre Secreto (Secret Agent Man) - The Plugz
10. Bad Man - Juicy Bananas
11. Reel Ten - The Plugz

On the ferry to Straddie
Looks like the ferry to Straddie not sure, photo from his facebook page - Yes - photo from Megan

Warren Cressey Megan Thomas Andrew Noble Anna Noble Jim Rowe

Warren Cressey (above centre) was a mate of Jim's (and all of us) who died of skin cancer on the 5th September 1992 aged 29
Waz is shown with Megan Thomas and Anna Noble
I will always wonder what would have become of Waz had he lived on.

Nobbs Thatch and Jimbo at Jim's gaff in Walker ave. New Farm I seem to remember..but then again

Vietnamese restaurant in the Valley one of our favourite haunts for a while - says 1991 on the back of the photo
Me (thatch) in the fox balaclava as designed by Julian Thomas of Annerley.

Tarrawa units opposite south Narrowneck carpark circa 1985

At Nigel's old's (unoccupied) gaff at Fingal - Om

Jim talking to Simon Thatcher (my older brother) about 1989
I personally think this apricot suit was the height of Jim's sartorial splendour, waddya reckon Zav?

Photos (above and below) are courtesy Megan Thomas .
Of the above series Megan says "Les took this of us in front of a wall in the Valley that Jim liked."

Jim Thatch Bayard Anna Schmalkuche's 21stCluck Andrew Sally Anna Warren Suzie and a bloke I don't recognise
Anna Schmalkuche's 21st, Jim Thatch Bayard Cluck Andrew Sally Anna Warren Suzie and a win-on barman I'd say

Grand Prix Party Plunkett Street
Plunkett St. Grand Prix party

Jim and Derek Thomas Brekky Crk 1984
Jim and Derek Thomas at the Breakfast Creek hotel...no idea what they are doing or thinking

Jim Rowe David Barmes
IH Jim and Barmes

Anna Schmalkuche 1984
IH Anna & Jim


Jean-Francois, Nobbs, Jimbo, Waz, Bayard, these pretzels are making me thirsty...

hand painted shirt by Megan

Jim Megan

So grasshopper, what is the sound of one hand clapping?
Jim Megan

Boards in back of Toyota

Cleveland Sands Beergarden 1985

 Can confirm that the cricket match above was in 1984 and was a Day/Night match between Australia and the West Indies.  Bayard says, "The Windies thrashed us, by the way."
At the Sydney Cricket Ground  Peter Bayard, Jim, Robert Brands and Megan, with some random guy that was in front of us.  He was friendly, his name was Sandro.

Birdman Cam Cramps T-shirt
1986- Cam and Jim go "Walkabout" in Paddington to take pictures of cool signs.  The Radio Birdman sign was on Alma Street.

The Courier Mail - 17 September 2008

ROWE, James Craig (Jim),
late of Tugun.
Passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, 14th September, 2008.
Aged 55 Years
Loved Brother and Brother-in-law
to Helen and Les, Marian, Uncle to
Simon, Amelia and Angela and
Friend and Surfing Mate to a great
Family and Friends are invited to
attend Jims Funeral Service to be
held in the Cannon & Cripps
Chapel, 270 Kelvin Grove Road,
Kelvin Grove on Friday, 19th
September, 2008, commencing at
No Funeral Cortege
No flowers by request, donations in
lieu to the "save the ^^insert animal^^ i.e. panda"
would be appreciated.

Photos below supplied by Jim's mate Peter Zavalishin aka "Zav"

I am guessing the first photo was take as evidence of a bet.
The woman in pic 4 is a bit of a mystery to me.

Zav and Jim shake hands
Jim on couch
Jim and Byrning Spears board which he sold to Thatch
Woman and Jim