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History of Lake Colac Rowing Club

Lake Colac's impressive boatshed with a full lake

Following closely on the foundation of the Victorian Rowing Association on the 7 October 1876, some members of the Colac Rowing Club, which was thought to have had its beginning in 1872, broke from that club, and formed the Lake Colac Rowing Club in 1877. The two clubs flourished until about 1912, when the younger club absorbed the original one. The first Colac regatta was held in March 1878 and the second in December of the same year.

Club records are somewhat incomplete, due mainly to two fires which have burnt the clubhouse. The first of these was early this century, and the second in 1952. 

Although the club's crews have rarely reached great heights in Victorian rowing, the club itself has always commanded considerable respect from the district as a worthy sporting institution. One member, Kevin Wickham, did achieve the honour of coxing the Australian eight at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

The first president of Lake Colac Rowing Club was William Robertson, an early settler, who took up large tracks of land adjacent to Lake Colac. Dr L O C Bayer was president for some 30 years, and Mr V M Pearson also served for many years following Dr Bayer's term. Since World War II the late P B Borwick and Messrs C C Pugh, L D Parslow and W G Rodgers have been presidents. Mr CC (Cyril) Pugh (Life Member) has been a member of the club for 57 years. 

Extracted from Rowing in Victoria - The first 100 years of the Victorian Rowing Association 1976-1976 by Field Rickards.

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