Boat detective work

We got an email from Michael Dorbeck asking

We talked about the name on an old skiff I have hanging in my shed and you were going to ask around to see if anyone knows who the boat is named after.
The boat is a plywood hulled coxed pair, so I am guessing it dates from the 50s, pre fibreglass. It is in great condition and if I had riggers, think it could be easily rowed as it is. The name on the boat is Bruce Rogers. I have asked around at North Shore Rowing Club but no-one seems to know anything about the boat or the person it was named after. 
I got the boat when Westlake (Boys High School Rowing Club) were moving out of their sheds (I am storing 4 of their historic hulls some of which will go back in the water when I get time). The boat is dated well before WBHS started their rowing crews.
Be really appreciated if you would be able to ask around the Masters community and see if they know anything about Bruce Rogers.
There must be a rower somewhere who knows about him!

And the amazing network of masters rowers swung into action. would you believe me if I said within 24 hours we had an answer?

Stage one…. look out for published histories

Grant Craies has a copy of the West End Centennial history book 1884 – 1984. In it there’s an Elected Life Members list which notes for 1979 BK Rogers.
and in the active members list for 1967 it lists B.K. Rodgers (note the spelling difference).
Seems likely your man was a West End member.
He won Maiden Eights in the 1968-9 season in a crew with Rogers M as the coxswain.
and in the same season J. Parnell was rowing the Junior eights…. Lesley Milne knows John Parnell (he now lives in Dunedin) and he may remember Mr Rogers. [We wrote to John Parnell and he replied below.]
This has all the makings of a lovely rowing history detective story and so I have cc both John Parnell and Mike Harrison. Mike has tracked down some amazing St George RC history and written it up for the Legion website in the past.
Mike, if you fancy taking up this story – would you launch right on in?
We can crack this one… I’m sure of it.

And personal memory too

John Parnell rowed at West End in his youth. Now living in Dunedin  and featured his boathouse in an earlier article. John wrote back “I remember a Bruce Rogers. I’m sure he went to Mt Albert Grammar.”

We know that Mount Albert Grammar School row out of the West End boathouse, so it was likely he joined the club after his school years.

Mystery solved…. so quick. It’s easy when you know the right folks, eh?