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history of the city of warrnambool rowing club

City of Warrnambool Rowing Club – 140 years on the Hopkins River

By Susan Finnigan


The writing of any Club history is a large and difficult, but important task. Firstly it involves considerable research from many sources with great reliance on primary documents such as Club records and newspapers of the time. It involves writing about people you have never known and perhaps with more difficulty, writing about those who you do know. The task is so large that it is not for the faint-hearted, it requires determination and zeal. Further, in this case, the author has fully annotated and indexed this history. For those who will follow in future years and add to this work, they will be grateful for the detailed work undertaken today.

I commend Susan on taking on this significant task and for her thorough work.

Putting aside the difficulties and immensity of the task, the most important point is that the Club history has been written. The City of Warrnambool Rowing Club is an important part of both the local and rowing communities. The history of the Club is something deserving of permanent record before the records and memories are lost. The Victorian Government understands the relevance of local history and is also commended for its support of this project.

Every Club has its own community, struggles and spirit which I am pleased to say can be found in this history. The names and deeds of members past deserve to be brought to life so that their work is recognised and the current members have that historical perspective. Susan has effortlessly brought together the historical strands of the clubs which merged into the current Club. It provides insights into all these communities.

When the Warrnambool Rowing Club commenced in 1873, the sport of rowing was vibrant. Five rowing clubs were formed in that year alone. Whilst the sport has declined in mass popularity, it remains very strong. With such popularity, such determined members and the superb Hopkins River, we can confidently predict that the Club can expect to be celebrating its 200th anniversary. 

Andrew Guerin
December 2015


Boat Sheds Hopkins, Warrnambool

By George Walker. Source Museum Victoria. Warrnambool Rowing Club is in the foreground 1

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1. In and Around Warrnambool’, Syme, David. The illustrated Australian News 11th November, 1893: with permission State Library of Victoria.

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