Table of Contents
Chapter 7 — Rowers Club
Early in the decade ambitious plans of some years to establish a licensed sporting club for rowers came to fruition when in March, 1973, Bundaberg District Rowing Association Rowers Club was officially opened by the Queensland Minister for Tourism, Sport and Welfare, Mr.Herbert. A $57,000 project, the club was the first in Queensland to provide such amenities for members of a rowing club.
Inaugural President was Berry Brown and the first Secretary-Manager Nev Cullen. The opening also marked the Golden Jubilee of Ron Clemence's Bundaberg Rowing Club membership.
Two other developments marked this period of rowing's growth in Bundaberg. Mainly through the interest of the Slean family, Kolan Rowing Club was established, and a long-time supporter and Patron of rowing, Dr. Jack Scott sponsored the formation of the Old Oarsmen's Association in 1964.
This association's primary aim was the sponsorship of youth rowing, which it helped strongly in both a financial sense and in encouragement. These objectives were fulfilled when Bundaberg crews won the Champion Youth Eights of Queensland in 1976 (S. Hargreaves stroke), 1978 (R. Silcox stroke) and 1980 (R. Silcox stroke).
Schoolboy rowing also has been fostered assiduously by the club for at least a quarter of a century, and the annual Head of the River events among Bundaberg's secondary schools have become significant in the city's rowing calendar.
This should have a significant influence on the future of Bundaberg Rowing Club, sustaining an achievement which makes the club almost unique in Queensland rowing: with the exception of the latter years of World War II, the club has been represented by a crew in the Queensland eight-oared championship every year since its inaugural appearance in 1925. No other Queensland rowing club can boast this record.
The stature of the club and the contribution of its officials were recognised on a national level in 1978 when its long-time stalwart, Mr. Neville Cullen was honoured in the Queen's Honours List with the award of the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM).