THEY may be better known to many locals as the owners of Jerrabomberra’s General Store but the Harrow family has also written one of the more remarkable pages in Queanbeyan’s sporting story.
Brothers Laing and Mike Harrow hold the rare honour of being duel internationals, having represented Australia in both softball and ice hockey.
Laing was also recently named as co-coach of Australia’s senior men’s softball team The Steelers, a position he holds alongside his father and fellow co-coach Bob.
Originally from Canada, the Harrows moved to Australia in the mid-1980s before settling in Queanbeyan in 1991.
“When we first came out here we lived in Canberra but one day I saw a light away out in the middle of nowhere,” Bob recalls. “So I drove down the road and discovered Jerrabomberra.
“We ended up opening a store there in 1991 and we’ve been there ever since.
“When I came out here from Canada in ’86 my first training session was actually here in Queanbeyan coaching a girls team,” Laing adds. “I still see a few of the girls around who pull me up and tell me I used to coach them back then.”
And while their thick Canadian accents continue to mark their Canadian upbringing, there’s no question the Harrows have come to call Queanbeyan home.
Bob founded the Jerrabomberra Softball Association shortly after moving to the area while the family has long been involved in coaching up-and-coming softballers in the area.
“We’ve certainly been very fortunate here,” Laing says. “We’ve had lots of great opportunities so hopefully we can give a bit back.”
As well as their efforts representing Australia, Laing and Mike have also been heavily involved over the years in both ACT Softball and the Canberra Knights ice hockey side.
And in a sign the Harrow family name is set to continue making waves in the sporting world, last year saw Laing’s son, Matthew, help guide Jerrabomberra Public to the school’s first ever NSW PSSA softball title.