It is with sadness RiotACT announces that Roger Allnut, a regular contributor to our lifestyle and opinion sections since 2016, died on 26 August from cancer. He was 78.
Roger had many interests outside family and work; none greater than travel.
As a young man, he travelled extensively in England and Europe before he settled down to marriage and a career in the Australian Public Service, mostly in the Health Department. It was in the latter part of that career that Roger became what he described as “an accidental travel writer”.
In 1977, Roger and his wife Helen won the Canberra Times Gardener of the Year competition. The prize was a trip to Europe. On his return, he was invited to chronicle his experience. From that point on, his love of travelling and writing became inseparable.
When Roger left the APS in 1996 it became his second career. He travelled extensively throughout Australia and, according to Roger, explored every continent except Antarctica (although he did fly over Mt Erebus). For many years he served on the committee of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.
In addition to travel, Roger led a very active post-retirement life. He was a long-time member of the Canberra Wine and Food Society, a stalwart of the local walking group, and maintained an active interest in music and theatre. He was also a keen and talented tennis player.
Roger was a member of what became known as The Friday Lunch Group – a group of ex-Health Department retirees who meet regularly on Friday. With his continual travel, the inevitable question was “Where’s Roger?” He would then reappear and regale the group with his tales. His lunch group colleagues will remember him fondly as a gregarious person with a lively interest in what other people thought or were doing. They – and RiotACT – will raise a glass or two to his memory.
Roger is survived by his wife Helen and his children, James and Olivia.