Scroll To Top

History of Barwon Rowing Club

Chapter 7 - The Love of the Work 1945-1969

Chapter 7 page 1 2 3 4

In 1950 the club achieved second place in the Junior Premiership and the club's first lightweight eight win at Henley since 1922. Doug Griffiths won the Herald Shield for sculling for the club for the first time. A. V. Beach retired as treasurer after 24 years of service. The annual Formal was re-introduced and proved an outstanding success with 225 people dancing the night away. The social committee also provided facilities for table tennis, quoits, darts and hockey.

One of the interested spectators at the 1950 Barwon Regatta was Mary Doolan, president of the Victorian Ladies Rowing Association, secretary of the Essendon Ladies Rowing Club and of the Victorian Amateur Women's Sports Council. Miss Doolan was in Geelong not only to observe the rowing but also to assist in the formation of a ladies rowing club in Geelong. There were at the time four such clubs in Melbourne; Albert Park, founded in the 1920s, Essendon, YWCA and Preston. In the country Dimboola and Dennington had been joined by the newly-formed club at Cardross near Mildura. There was not sufficient interest to form the women's club in Geelong. In fact, throughout the early 1950s even rowing for men was losing its appeal due to its requirement for training seven days a week. Barwon's executive tried to reduce this commitment and looked at alternative ways of keeping the men fit. Eventually the services of a physical instructor, Noel Winnett, were secured. In 1950 Bill Grose completed 21 years as captain of the club. During the 1950/51 season the club won the Lightweight Eight at Barwon Regatta with B. Griffiths (st), R. Price, L. Gladman, J. Dowsett, D. Griffiths, K. Allen, R. Cox and J. Wilks. With Lex Quinn as coach the club's Junior Eight won at Warnambool and Colac. On the social side the winner of the "Ugly Man" competition in August 1951 was Ron Cox with 10,645 votes, raising £133. The money was sorely needed as the club had been flooded twice within the previous ten months, causing considerable damage and cancelling several fund-raising events. Under an innovative "student training scheme" several students from Geelong High School began rowing instruction.

W Grose and L Quinn

W Grose and L Quinn, coaches 1952/53 Victorian Champion Lightweight Eight with BRC members

Back row: Keith Palmer, Adrian Moody, Don Stacey, Mick Davis, Paul Jukes, Bill Bade, Jack Wilks, Jimmy Dowsett, Brian Brown, W Grose, L Quinn
Front row: Arthur Pettigrew, Ian Anderson

Another flood in 1952 caused even more damage, however, many important historical documents were saved from the flooded downstairs committee room. The 1951/52 season saw a Maiden Eight double; S. Buckle (st), H. Goodwin, G. McDonald, D. Pescott, H. Dry, J. Donahue, A. Monkivitch and W. Bade with C. Jones as cox won at Ballarat and Barwon regattas. In the same season Lex Quinn coached the winning Junior Four at Barwon Regatta: R. Pescott (st), K. Smith, J. Dowsett, T. Whitehand, B. Weeks cox and the club's lightweight eight won at a Geelong regatta. Floods again in 1953 caused damage estimated at £150. For the first time in the club's history, in 1953, a Barwon crew won the Lightweight Eights Championship on the Yarra with K. Palmer (st), M. Davis, N. Monkivitch, J. Dowsett, A. Moody, J. Wilks, P. Jukes, R. Brown, D. Stacey cox and W. Grose and L. Quinn sharing the coaching honours. By now the club had a reputation as one of the most successful in Victoria. The 1954/55 rowing season was one of the most successful years in the club's history, despite the untimely death of Paul Jukes at just 19 years. An energetic social committee provided three new racing boats, as well as improving the recreational facilities in the clubhouse. Members now enjoyed better conditions and facilities than ever before.

1952 flood

The 1952 flood

Chapter 7 page 1 2 3 4

< previous Chapter 6

> next Chapter 8

top of page

Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management