Arthur Rowe moved around quite a lot in a long life but stayed at Norwood for seven seasons and reaped the reward of two premierships.
He was born at Collingwood, Victoria, in 1863 to James Rowe and his wife Elizabeth, née Heywood, who chose a mixture of orthodox and novel names for their children – Arthur Brisbane, Elizabeth, William, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Montague, Prothero and Rowena. Although some of Arthur’s older siblings were born in South Australia, all members of the family appear to have gravitated to Victoria over time.
In 1885, Arthur headed the Norwood goalkicking with a tally of nine. ‘Goalpost’ in The South Australian Register commented at the end of the season: “ Rowe has at times been handy at following but has not been consistent.”
Arthur was a steady contributor as Norwood finished runner-up in his first three years with the club. Norwood finally broke through in 1887 by a tiny percentage margin ahead of an aggrieved Port Adelaide. Port complained that Norwood had built its percentage in an extra game against the weak team Hotham and demanded a play-off for the title. Norwood, however, stood its ground, having played Port four times that season for two wins and two draws.
Norwood surged to another premiership in 1888. Arthur was still at the club but not in the team when Norwood completed a hat trick of premierships in 1889, defeating Port 7.4 to 5.9 in what was effectively the first South Australian grand final.
Arthur also showed some talent at cricket, scoring 122 for Norwood against local team Middlesex at Kensington Oval in February 1886.
After his stint at Norwood, Arthur moved to Western Australia and at the age of 37 married Frances Ewing. They lived at North Perth and had two children, Sydney and Nora. Arthur was a bank manager and was posted to Geraldton towards the end of his career. In retirement he moved with his family back to Melbourne. He died at Hawthorn on 10 July 1940
P Robins, D Cox June 2020