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William Rowbotham

Calgary REALTOR® William Rowbotham, born in Sceptre, Saskatchewan in 1920, enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force at the age of 19. While overseas, he was shot down by German Forces, and he spent a year and a half in a German prisoner of war camp. Once he was released to England, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He stayed in England for treatment and to be close to his girlfriend Nan, whom he married soon after.

In 1945, Bill returned to Canada, and his war bride joined him the next year. He farmed in Saskatchewan for a while, but he decided to head for the opportunities in Calgary on the advice of fellow POW and member of the Calgary Real Estate Board Doug Hawkes. After Bill was denied an application to farm, Bill went into door-to-door bread deliveries for McGavin's Bakery. Then he ran a small grocery store, which he found difficult because of his hearing impediment, stemming his piloting days during the war.

After all these failed business ventures, Bill Rowbotham decided on a career in real estate. He received his license in 1948 and began working for the firm of Campbell and Halliburton. In 1953, he joined the firm of Rich and Jackson as a district manger. Then in 1959, he entered the partnership of Elmer and McMullen while pursuing an appraisal degree. Three years later, he joined J.C. Leslie Real Estate and Appraisal Company.

As for his family, he and Nan had two children, David and Rodger. When Nan died in 1991, Bill retired from real estate.

For more information on William Rowbotham, read the Calgary Real Estate News article Positivity and resilience create success in our feature article database.


Goheen, Krista. Positivity and resilience create success Calgary Real Estate News, 23(33), August 18, 2005.

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