By Jeff Hoyt
For Vashon Island Rowing Club
Vashon Island Rowing Club was honored recently to receive a gift from the estate of late islanders Ron and Marion Robbins (illustrated here with their beloved bird, Robert, in a portrait by long-time VIRC member Bruce Morser).
Marion, who died in 2015, was an original member of the rowing club and provided her beach on Governor’s Row as a storage and launching pad for rowing shells over the first 10 years of the club’s 30-year existence.
The amount of the gift is approximately the amount needed to buy a new 4+ for the club, which, appropriately, was the exact type of rowing shell VIRC first stored on her property.
“Marion’s house was more than a launching spot, but also a place where we worked out, enjoyed martinis and listened to her many stories,” said VIRC founder Celia Congdon. “She was a role model on how to compete as an older adult. She earned her seat in the boat and could steer an 8+ around a buoy like nobody’s business.”
Her husband, Ron, who preceded Marion in death two years earlier, was also the club’s de facto babysitter, keeping club members’ young children busy on shore while their parents were out rowing.