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australian rowers profiles and history

John Arthur

Melbourne Rowing Club (VIC)
1873 – Intercolonial Men’s Four Championship two seat – first

Arthur is recorded as a tall, wiry man with great strength in his arms and back as well as a great reach.

He was a member of the 1873 Intercolonial Four oared crew which recorded Victoria’s first win in an intercolonial race. It includes some of the pioneers of our sport. The crew is also of interest as it was the first representative crew from several clubs. It was known as the Melbourne crew.

John Lang, in his book the Victorian Oarsman in 1919, recorded the importance of the race as follows: Victoria secured the first win with a non-club four (Melbourne, Melbourne University and Warehousemen). The other crews in the race were club crews, comprising two from Ballarat, a Sydney Rowing Club crew, and crews from Hobart Town and Geelong. The race was rowed over about four miles on the Lower Yarra - time, 25 min. 30 sec. This race is generally recognised as the first "official" Intercolonial match.

1873 Trophy for the winning representative Melbourne crew with Arthur in the two seat

Andrew Guerin 2013

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