Name: Stone Heather Patricia (Rowe)
Connection: Daughter of Gordon James Rowe TX 511 (Go to connection)
Heather has been a long serving member of the Committee having undertaken various roles, including Association Secretary. She is currently the Association Assistant Secretary
Heather Patricia Stone Eldest Daughter of Sgt."Dobbin" Rowe. Family member enlisted 12/04/2008. Appointed Assistant Secretary 18/04/2009-10-11. Secretary 25/4/2012.
When Heather’s dad was finally discharged he returned to his farm in Abbotsham Tasmania, his best memento from the war being his marriage to a young Melbourne WRAAC Joyce Newey; the other not so nice one was recurrent malaria. Heather was born in 1946, grew up in a farming community and went to country schools. There was no library. Her primary reading matter from the time she learned her letters was her dad’s extensive collection of war books, both fact and fiction. She also heard dozens of stories of the Regiment when old comrades in arms, then firm family friends, dropped in for visits. The closest of these was “Uncle” Slim(Thornton) Carins, who became godfather to her brother Peter. Other frequent visitors she remembers, some from as far away as SA, were Ernie Mills, Arthur Langham, Byron Mainwaring, Arthur Layton and “Happy” Harry Hunting . There always seemed to be an Anzac March, and a 39ers or 2/6 Div Cav Cdo reunion taking place somewhere.
When Heather finished High School, she was not encouraged to become a farmer so trained as a primary teacher in Hobart, returning to country schools to teach before moving to the mainland in her early twenties. After some travelling she settled happily into a job at Victoria Barracks as a civilian employee of the Defence Department (Army) where she spent some years in Workers Compensation and, as well as normal accidents, had close experience of the aftermath of war on many of Australia’s young soldiers. It was this experience that turned her into a peace activist and a part of the crusade to bring young Australians home from an unwinnable war in Vietnam.
After her marriage she continued in the public service until she, her former husband and young son decided to try alternative farming (Permaculture) and spent several years living in the fishing village of Stanley, Tasmania. She remembers these as the best years of her adult life where she was able to turn her hand to anything from hunting, bee-keeping , welding and ploughing to slaughtering chickens and servicing a bulldozer.
From Stanley the family moved to Smithton, Hobart, Darwin, Woy Woy and back to Traralgon Victoria, centred mostly around the fishing and the forestry industries. Heather became heavily involved in politics, education and social justice issues and added writing, editing, advocacy and proofreading to her portfolio. She also added oxygen ; a legacy of smoking. Heather’s sister Josie Andrews, our Tasmanian historian, had already met Shorty via the website and on a visit to Heather in Melbourne, introduced her. The rest as they say, is history.
Noted author and literary critic,Heather weighs in with a word or two to say about a recent controversy (HERE)