In 2001 Rowan was invited to take a look at the new Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, in particular to its future airport operations capacity. After taking a look at the progress he immediately noted some shortfalls and suggested changes.
Between 2001 and 2013, Rowan devoted his energies and skills to building a (ICAO) Category 8 Port of Entry airport that allows aviation growth not previously available into the province’ economy.
By restructuring the Airport Fire and Rescue, Air traffic navigational aids and ground services, Rowan had to deal with many strategic local community structures as the KMI representative.
At the same time, embracing the little town which has become his family’s new home, he became involved in local community structures. As Chairman of the local Business against Crime, and later Secretary of the Ward Committee, he has been able, on occasion, to influence other leading townsfolk.
“I love the village feeling, the closeness of the White River community”, Rowan says, adding that he has a passion to get things right, to see change and to make this town better and smarter than others.
Rowan is also a member of the White River Ratepayers Association and works closely with We Are White River on a wide variety of issues affecting the town. He excels at relationship building and has established a rapport with the town council and provincial government officials which he finds positive when resolving problems. Rowan says the officials are willing to work closely with business and residents to make White River the best it can be, and points out that the town is generally clean and tidy. Through the ward committee Rowan works on a number of town projects, for instance the Adopt a Spot and the Casterbridge traffic circle “Rhino plight awareness” endeavors. Forthcoming projects include new signage at the entrances to White River and plans to move the gracious steam engine recently uncovered in a community clean-up to a more central location in town.
Rowan makes it all sound easy, but it’s hours of patience, dedication, commitment and hard work, rewarded only when things finally come together and even then, so much is behind the scenes that most residents are unaware of Mr Fix-it’s work.
But if you see Rowan hurrying along in town one day, folder tucked under his arm, take a minute to greet him and express your appreciation for his tireless efforts. He’s a town asset, and that is why we’ve voted him a White River Star.