The coach who founded the University of Victoria’s rowing program in 1965, Lorne Loomer, died Jan. 1 at the age of 79.
Loomer was an accomplished athlete before he moved into coaching. He won gold for Canada at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, silver in Rome in 1960, and gold at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Wales.
His legacy remains at UVic, where the Vikes have produced countless national rowing team athletes, world champions and Olympic champions.
Loomer’s contribution to UVic rowing was acknowledged on Sept. 2 at a standing-room-only ceremony to name the Lorne and Elisabeth Loomer Rowing Room in the new Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities.
He is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, the Olympic Club Canada, the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and the UBC Sports Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the UVic Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 as part of the inaugural class.
Loomer’s wife, Elisabeth, supported physical education as a teacher and as an accomplished yachtswoman. Together, they embraced the responsibility to give back to their community and support the next generation in achieving their dreams. Loomer was also an accomplished artist whose paintings hang in houses all over Greater Victoria and beyond.