Anthony William Rainbow, always known as Tony, was born in Launceston on May 7 1946.

Tony was the third of four children born to Thomas and Margaret. The family lived in Rosebery on the West Coast. He and his siblings had a wonderful childhood in what was then a virtually land-locked township – the only means of reaching the outside world was by the Emu Bay Railway. A great place to grow up – great friends, great adventures, the freedom to roam and being loved. A great start to the first phase of their various lives.

The four offspring did their primary education at the local state school but their parents were determined that the children would have good education and, in time, all four would complete their secondary education in boarding schools in Hobart. Their parents sacrificed a lot to make this possible. Four to boarding school – government assistance for non-state schools did not begin until the three eldest had finished with secondary education. Both parents were very intelligent but their formal education ended at sixth grade. One wonders what may have eventuated had they been given the same opportunities that they gave to their offspring. 

Tony, Michael and Graeme were sent to board at St Virgil’s College, whilst Maureen, the youngest, went to St Mary’s College. Tony was a good student, made many friends, was captain of the second XVIII football team, stroked one of the rowing fours and might well have become a prefect but for upsetting ‘the government’ in the period immediate to selections being effected. 

Tony matriculated in 1963 and succumbed to a perceived expectation of going on to university. He enrolled in the Science Faculty to study Geology, but it was not long till he decided Geology was not his thing and also he was also becoming increasingly aware of the additional burdens his parents were carrying to support him at university.

Off to the paid workforce – initially to the PMG – the forerunner of Australia Post and Telecom. Story has it that someone suggested he was selling himself short there and that he ought to try something more challenging where the prospects were much better. 

Enter the Commonweath Bank. He started at the North Hobart Branch in 1965 and remained with the bank for the ensuing 33 years. He had a comparatively rapid career progression through a variety of roles in the Bank’s Hobart branch and its State Administration. 

A highlight during this early period was in relation to his being flown onto the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier with millions of Australian dollars to administer the necessary currency exchange for the estimated four and a half thousand complement that was about to start ‘shore leave’. Tony had the joy of being on the bridge of the Enterprise as it sailed up the Derwent.

It was during this period of Tony’s banking life in Hobart that he met and married Louise Porte and the three of his four daughters were born – Catherine, Emma and Sonia.  

In 1975, Tony accepted a promotion to the International Division of the CBA’s Head Office in Sydney. A fourth daughter, Nerissa, was born whilst the family was in New South Wales. 

Tony moved to Melbourne in 1979 where he further progressed in a variety of administrative roles to become a member of the State’s Executive team. At one point he was seconded to relieve the State Manager in Hobart for a brief period.

Unfortunately, the marriage did not last and Tony and Louise separated in the early 90s.  In 1995 he met and married Janet and they were to become inseparable for the next 27 years. 

A career change followed in 1998 when he left the CBA and moved to the autoparts recycling industry. Tony became the Group General Manager of five companies operating from seven sites with around 100 employees in total. In this role he was fortunate to travel both interstate and overseas to attend conferences and business operations. 

After gradually retiring from his business involvements, he returned to Hobart to live in 2013.

Tony always had a strong affiliation and loyalty to St Virgil’s College and the Old Virgilians Association. Prior to moving to Sydney in 1979 he had served on the committee of the Old Virgilians Football Club and was its secretary a for period. 

Upon his return to Hobart he was a regular at OVA functions - he delighted catching up with people from his school years. In 2020, he was pressured into joining the OVA committee, which at the time was in danger of ‘folding’. 

He became aware that he had developed stage four lung cancer during the latter part of 2022 and has passed while still a serving member of the OVA Committee.

The article photo was taken on the Sunday February 26 just days prior to prior to his passing in the early hours of Monday March 6.

Tony would often say, “I’m too old for this, why aren’t  the younger Old Boys stepping up.  The Association must not be allowed to fold. People ought be more willing to give something back in response to the benefits received.”


Rest in peace, Tony.

Vale Tony Rainbow

More News & Stories

Stay Connected
Become a Member TODAY!
Get Started Here