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Sil Rohu and MALUKA with a fleet of VJs

Sil Rohu

Sylvester Edwin ( Sil) Rohu was born in 1882 in Sydney, his parents were Scandinavian. At the outbreak of World War I he enlisted in the Australia Imperial Forces. From mid- 1916 until the war’s end he fought on the Western Front in France with the 7th Field Artillery Brigade. He was a remarkable survivor and has his own small place in the history of the war. Rohu and two colleagues produced the 7th Field Artillery Brigade newspaper “The Yandoo” throughout the war, and the typewriter they used is now preserved at the National War Memorial in Canberra. For a brief period it had been captured by the German Army, but was regained when their forces were overrun again.

Rohu returned to Sydney in mid-1919 and soon after purchased a gunsmith store in central Sydney. His entrepreneurial skills were quickly apparent and he diversified into other sporting areas as well, then became known nationally as supplier of all types of sporting goods.

He married Laura May Young at Marrickville in 1923. A few years later their address was The Crescent, Vaucluse where they had a waterfront house and boatshed. It was here that the VJ and VS classes began with his support. He owned the Cliff Gale designed MALUKA for some years and it was moored off his house.

Rohu died in March 1945, but remains well known as the creator of the VJ and VS classes, in collaboration with Charles Sparrow.