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History of Fremantle Rowing Club 1887-1987

By Ralph Jeffreys

15. School Rowing

Christian Brothers College Fremantle has been rowing from the Clubhouse for two years. The College forms an important part in the life of the district and has a long history of achievement. It was originally blessed by Bishop Gibney on 3rd February 1901 and opened for students the following day.

The College has organised the rowing well and is already acquiring some boats of its own. Geoff Revell, with cooperation of the Headmaster was the original driving force and has been ably assisted from the College by Peter Martin and Morris Van Dongen. The Club is assisting as far as possible and is anxious, to see this project, which shows such genuine promise, succeed.

It will be of interest at this point to record. that the Club has always endeavoured to give students the opportunity to experience the spirit of rowing.

The. following recorded involvements by the Club in student rowing are chronicled as follows:

1867 Grammar school Fremantle (founded 1882). The Clubs senior coach was W.F. Evans Headmaster of this school and his desire, expressed at the club opening, was that his students became involved with the Club.

1899 St. Peters College Fremantle gained second place in the first Head of the River Race held on Saturday 25th June 1899, and the following year gained third place in what became an annual event. From 1901 onwards their place in the competition was taken by Guildford Grammar School.

1914 Scotch College. The connection of George Campbell with Scotch College, where he eventually became Deputy Headmaster, led to an association which has existed until today. During 1986, Allan Smith and Ralph Jeffreys assisted with the younger students at Scotch College Boat Shed Peppermint Grove.

1952 Wesley College. When admitted to the Interschool Competition was nursed into the rowing section by Jack Jeffreys and initially used Fremantle boats and trained from the Fremantle Club. Jack continued to coach crews at Wesley for another 16 years.

1955 Fremantle Boys High School. A limited number of boys attended the Club.

1964 Royal Australian Navy. Under the guidance of Ken Railton a prominent New South Wales oarsman, who was at the time stationed at H.M.A.S. Leeuwin on Preston Point, had 40 Junior Recruits involved in rowing. Lindsay Wallis a Club Committeeman, continued fostering this activity for some few years.

1970 St- Louis College Claremont had students involved.

1973 John Curtin Senior High School, and Graylands Teachers College, both had students rowing from Fremantle.

1973 Melville Senior High School commenced an involvement which remained for eight years.

1985 Christian Brothers' College Fremantle, as described in opening paragraph of this section.

1986 St. Hilda's Anglican School for Girls. The Club was able, during the season, to assist the school by providing some boats at the Regattas.

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