Funeral for Rear Admiral William J Rourke AO RAN (RETD)
23 November 2012
Rear Admiral William J. Rourke, AO, RAN (RETD) has been farewelled with full military honours during a ceremony at Garden Island Chapel in Sydney today.
Admiral Rourke was born in 1928 in Pemberton, Western Australia. He attended Perth Modern School and joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Cadet Midshipman in January 1942 and subsequently graduated from the Naval College in August 1945.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO CSC RAN, remembered Rear Admiral Rourke as a dedicated and accomplished member held in extremely high esteem by all who knew him, particularly the Navy Engineering fraternity.
"Admiral Rourke was an exceptionally talented engineering officer. His contribution to the Navy engineering profession was unparalleled, and his legacy will remain," said Vice Admiral Griggs.
Known for his dedication to the service, Rear Admiral Rourke was an Officer of the Order Of Australia.
During his 43 year career Rear Admiral Rourke served in a number of Her Majesty's Australian Ships.
During his time posted to HMAS Sydney he served in the Korean War and was Mentioned-in-Despatches.
Rear Admiral Rourke also served in a number of Her Majesty's Ships during exchange with the Royal Navy.
Following a stint as the Chief of Naval Materiel, Rear Admiral Rourke retired in 1985 and went on to be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Institution of Engineers.
Rear Admiral Rourke passed away at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney on Friday 16 November 2012. A beloved father and grandfather, he is survived by sons Michael and Commander Andrew Rourke, RAN, and two grandchildren, Georgia and Harry.
A portrait of Rear Admiral Rourke is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12131952