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A truly gentle man


Brian Rooney Crowe - Born: April 9 1926 | Died: March 11 2020

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Born in Cheltenham, Brian was the eldest son of Mary and Laurence Crowe. His early schooling was at the Sisters of St Joseph, then at Marist Brothers, Alberton.

He matriculated at Sacred Heart College, Somerton, in 1941.

Brian spent his youth in Port Adelaide and it was in the Port River that he excelled as a distance swimmer, attaining a State Junior Championship title. His smooth freestyle was to be later regularly observed each summer in the waters at South Brighton.

In 1944 Brian joined the RAAF and became a leading aircraftman.

He then studied Law at Adelaide University from 1947-1951.

While enjoying his studies, Brian would also thrive on the camaraderie that varsity life brings.

He represented the university in baseball and would later go on to sit on the SA Baseball Tribunal.

Brian Crowe

He would often travel with fellow students to interstate or country horseracing meetings and became a learned but moderate punter at Oakbank and Warrnambool in particular.

He developed a keen memory for names of horses, trainers, jockeys and everyone he met.

In the early 1950s, he was a foundation member of the DLP in SA and served as treasurer for many years.

He went on to stand as a candidate in three State and Federal elections.

By 1955 Brian had established a legal practice with Jack Boehm. But it would be the next partnership that Brian would treasure for more than 60 years. In 1958, he married Elizabeth Malone at St Ignatius’ Church, Norwood. They settled in South Brighton where they had four children in the next four years – Phil, Louise, Celia and Des.

Brian was also the proud brother of Phil (Fr Jerome CP) Des (Br Des FMS) and Noel (a Crown lawyer) and was a constant support to them all.

In 1964 Brian was appointed magistrate, sitting at Port Adelaide Magistrate’s Court.

Elizabeth and Brian became active members of the Brighton parish and attended St Joseph’s Church for 60 years. They both demonstrated unwavering faith and supported the priests and parish in many ways.

With a young family, they established many lifelong friendships through the parish.

They were also active old scholars of Loreto Convent and SHC, generous with their time.

Along with Des Riordan and Paul Morrissy, Brian was one of the early members of the Racing Mass Committee and would go on to be chairman for many years.

Each year on the Adelaide Cup weekend, a Catholic Mass is held to celebrate the racing industry, including horse and harness racing and greyhound racing.

Brian also spent time as the chairman of the Special Olympics Committee in SA.

Brian was appointed a District Court Judge in 1976, and presided in the Youth Court for 20 years.

He was a patient and caring listener and believed that most youth were able to be rehabilitated early, or at least be given that chance.

In his retirement Brian kept active. For decades he enjoyed Saturday afternoon tennis with old scholars and Religious on the pristine lawn courts at SHC.

He also took up golf at a mature age and eventually modified his baseball grip sufficiently to enjoy modest success.

Brian’s loyalty to SHC was very strong and he was invited to help write a history of their boarding school.

Early in his retirement Brian travelled to Ireland and traced family roots in County Cavan.

Brian and Elizabeth would need little encouragement to get up and sing an Irish ballad duet – to the Irish locals!

His love of Ireland led him to become a keen member of the literary sector of the Australian Irish Heritage Association.

Brian and Elizabeth were thrilled to be grandparents of Millicent, Bryony and Patrick, who gave good reason for the grandparents to travel to Darwin.

Brian enjoyed relatively good health until 2014. Elizabeth did a remarkable job of keeping them together at home. In 2017 they moved into Oaklands Park Lodge, Southern Cross Care.

Elizabeth died in March 2019.

Days before the COVID-19 lockdown, Brian’s funeral was one of the last held at St Joseph’s Brighton (on St Patrick’s Day).

The family feel sure that Elizabeth was watching over Brian, as usual.

A truly gentle man, now at rest.


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