Football, firm and family
Roger Orchard - Born: March 7 1944 | Died: August 14 2022
Roger was born at Calvary Hospital, North Adelaide, the first born of Edward (Ted) Henry and Magdalen Joyce Orchard, and older brother by three years to Josephine. It was wartime and Ted was stationed in the Northern Territory so didn’t see his son until he was two.
After the war Ted worked for Goldsbrough Mort, a job that took the family to Bordertown, Keith, Naracoorte and Burra. Roger came to hate the constant moving and this was the driving force behind his decision to pursue a career as an accountant which allowed him to establish solid roots in Adelaide.
When Roger was 10 he was sent to boarding school at Marist Brothers College in Mount Gambier. Exeat weekends were spent on friends’ farms except when he made the trip home once a year to Burra, where his parents were living by then.
He won a scholarship to Sacred Heart College (SHC) In Year 11. He was an outstanding sportsman and in Year 12 he captained the athletics and tennis teams, was vice captain of the First XVIII and played in the 1st grade baseball team.
There were many highlights at school, but the one he spoke of the most was when the Firsts football team beat Assumption College Kilmore for the first time in 1962 and Roger won the trophy for best on ground.
The boarding house was where he met lifelong mates including Peter Redden and Richard Ferry. Richard had a 16-year-old cousin, Virginia (Ginny) Angove, who was in
Year 11 at Loreto College, and after she expressed an interest in his friend Roger, the two met at the Princeton Club ballroom and were together from then on.
After leaving school in 1963, Roger was invited to play footy for West Adelaide and he made his league debut that year under Doug Thomas. He ended up playing more reserves than league and the opportunity to play footy for Christian Brothers Old Collegians was enough to end his league footy aspirations.
CBOC was the club that Rostrevor, SHC and other Catholic schools’ old scholars played for at the time. In 1972, the SHC boys decided there were enough of them to form their own club. Roger became the first coach and president of Sacred Heart Old Collegians Footy Club (SHOC).
Rostrevor also formed its own old scholars club and in 1974 the clubs met to contest the A4 Grand Final with SHOC winning its first A grade premiership.
Roger and Ginny were married in January 1968 in the Sacred Heart Chapel and James arrived in September 1969, followed by Sam, Tom and Caroline in the seventies.
Living in Tusmore, Roger decided SHC was too far away and the boys were enrolled at Rostrevor College. Within a year of James starting school, Roger was serving on one committee, then another and by the time James was in Year 12 he was chair of the college board, a position he held long after his youngest son, Tom, finished Year 12.
Weekends were spent playing tennis with mates on his beloved lawn court in summer and playing or coaching footy for SHOC in winter.
When he graduated to mere football spectator, he liked to yell and felt it important to give the umpires the benefit of his thoughts on all the terrible umpiring decisions they were making.
As the children grew up, he expanded into other areas of community service, from helping to establish Edmund Rice camps for disadvantaged youth to serving on the Hutt St Centre Foundation, including 10 years as chair.
He and Ginny joined the Monastery/Glen Osmond parish in 1974 when they were living at Myrtle Bank and Roger attended the 8am Mass every Sunday. Ginny said it was like a country service with everyone knowing each other and nearly all of the 8am group were present at his funeral.
Besides helping with money counting and consulting on financial matters, Roger was heavily involved in the creation of the memorial garden at The Monastery where his ashes will be laid. He also was instrumental in setting up the parish’s Christmas Hamper Appeal and even when he was unwell he insisted on helping Ginny deliver the hampers.
All this took place while building a successful accounting firm – Harris and Orchard. Many clients have described Roger’s intellect, warm nature and ability to be trusted implicitly as being the keys to his success as their advisor.
In 1984 Roger saw a growth opportunity by joining a national group of firms who then joined an international association called CPA Associates, now known as Accru. This affiliation provided Roger with some of the best moments and relationships of his life with conferences the cornerstone of the connection.
Roger’s values included: loyalty – when someone does something good for you, you make sure you do the same for them when the opportunity arises; help – when someone asks you to help, say yes, and say yes because you want to help them and because they believe in you enough to think you have the ability to help; and integrity – do the right thing.
His Catholic upbringing and strong devotion to his faith shaped much of what he believed to be right and wrong.
The more people he helped and pleased, the more he wanted to do.
His legacy is significant: a football club, a firm and a family.
The football club is celebrating its 50th year, the firm has 70 employees all heavily influenced by Roger’s core values and the family, which includes 10 grandchildren, has normal challenges but is full of happy people enjoying fulfilling lives and proud to be part of what Roger and Ginny started.
Since his diagnosis of dementia in 2012 the family has greatly missed the Roger of old. It was especially hard for Ginny who lost her soul mate. There were moments of clarity and maybe some recollection – he gave Ginny a kiss two weeks before he died – but these occasions were more infrequent as time went on.
The family expressed their gratitude to the staff of The Lodge, on King William Road, for their wonderful care.
The many messages of support after his death have been a welcome reminder of what Roger was like before he became ill, and how widely he made strong relationships. Those who knew him described him as a gentleman, a great man, a mentor and leader.
– Ginny Orchard recently gave an interview about living with someone with dementia on the SAMHRI’s Bright Walk Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sahmribright/videos). Donations to dementia research can be made at www.sahmri.org.au/support-us/make-a-donation/make-a-gift-in-memory
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