British Boomerang Society

Site last update May 2018

Geoff ('effing' Geoff to his friends)

Geoff Roe (F***ing Geoff to most of us) passed away recently (2014) .  He died of heart failure at the age of 67.  He leaves a widow (Linda) and stepson (Andrew).

 

Geoff entered the boomerang world in the late 1980's and got his name when he introduced himself to me at Shrewsbury.  He had phoned me before to enquire what the BBS did and I had told him the next meeting was Shrewsbury.  Standing on the windswept Sundorne grass, I was approached by a man who said 'who are you?', I introduced myself and out of politeness and curiosity said 'and who are you?'.  He replied 'F***ing Geoff'.  The name was born and Geoff took no offence at it at all.  Over the years I knew Geoff, he was the freest thinker I have ever come across.  Perhaps his lack of formal education didn't restrict his thinking.  In his pink three wheeled Reliant Robin, with a plastic pig welded to the bonnet, a curly tailed arial and piggy eared wing mirrors there was no passenger seat; why? the ashtray was full and this seemed an easy answer.  He cut up LP's with the reasoning that dimples in golf balls made them go further, the same logic should apply to boomerangs and the grooves should break the laminar airflow.  When given a large sheet of Foamex, many would have made many good boomerangs, no, Geoff made one big one (5' across) the first big boomerang I ever saw and the inspiration for the recent Guinness Book of Records attempt.  He suspended his drawers from the ceiling to avoid having to bend over when opening them, he took all the doors off his kitchen cupboards to save time, he and his wife had their own TV's to avoid arguments about what to watch.  Pragmatic, practical, imaginative, unfettered, intelligent and free thinking.  Geoff was friendly with Herb Smith and John Wray, he loved distance boomerangs.  He also loved Foamex and this was because as a welder for a sign writing firm he got it free!  I saw him once with 50 boomerangs he had made, he threw them one by one until they had all been thrown; he picked up the one which had landed closest and walked away with this, reasoning that other people could enjoy the ones he had left behind but that he had the best one.  When his legs were amputated, he reasoned life would be simpler with no shoes or socks, when his prosthetic limbs were ordered he asked to be 5'10" rather that over 6' to lower his centre of gravity and make it harder to fall over and easier to get up.  He was an expert on guns and ballistics amongst many other things.

 

Geoff had a life which included a huge number of obstacles, most of which would have derailed most other people.  Not Geoff.  His philosophy was very much, if there's a pile of dog poo in your way, walk around it and don't look back.  Despite the many hardships he had to overcome, he never complained and looked at what he had, not at what he didn't have.  He was kind, generous and often misjudged.

I count myself lucky to have been one of Geoff's friends and will miss him every day.

 

                       Sean McKenna-Slade

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