Roger Ealand, friend of the Club, passed away in March. He was a good man, a friend and a kind, charismatic and effervescent character. We will miss him a great deal.
Allan Conway has very kindly written this farewell to him to share with his friends in the Club.
Thanks to Allan Conway
On 22 March 2016 Roger’s battle with illness ended. As the family advised, it ended “in love, at peace and at home, as he wanted”. A very fitting, if premature, end to a life well lived.
Most Lotus Club members know Roger as the passionate driver of that orange Lotus 18 with the gold or chequered nose that has been seen on almost every race track in Australia. But, there was far more to this man – he was also husband, father, grandfather, brother, in-law, race car restorer, boat builder, sailor, home builder, businessman and community leader – all undertaken with that same passion.
His motorsport career spanned 50 years and almost all types of race cars from an MGTC beginning through to a McLaren F5000, but also crossing over to be a successful rally driver winning numerous English titles and events, finishing second in a Monte Carlo rally (by 1 second!!) and finishing the 16,000 klm 1993 London to Sydney Marathon. I should mention here, his wonderful wife, navigator and partner in life, Margaret who has been with him, beside him and behind him every step of this adventure called life.
In recent years, Roger has been the President of the Australian Formula Junior Association (AFJA) and his usual passion has taken that association to new heights. The membership has grown and a number of cars are now competing that were previously only shown to dinner guests on Saturday night. AFJA members have travelled the world with their FJs racing in New Zealand, South Africa, USA and of course Europe largely after huge doses of ‘Roger enthusiasm’. Also, whilst in this role he has taken to finding and restoring lost and unloved FJs and today there are at least three more FJs on Australian race tracks than there were when he began his quest.
The Lotus Club, motorsport and the community generally have lost a member that always gave 110% to any project in which he was involved. His way of greeting you and making you feel you were the most important person he had ever had anything to do with, also ensured you gave that same 110% to whatever it was he needed you to do. Part of that persuasion was his personality which was brighter than sunlight itself – he will be sadly missed.
To Margaret, Adam, Justin and their extended families we extend our condolences and sympathy and wish you well on what will no doubt be a difficult journey without such an enigmatic leader in your midst.
Image thanks to Margaret Ealand