Ballarat City Rowing Club (VIC)
In memory of Daryl Brown, Australian Champion
Australian Champion oarsman Daryl Brown was tragically killed in January this year. In his short and meteoric career, Daryl became known and respected by all connected with rowing in Victoria. The club decided to name the new racing pair the DARYL BROWN in his memory.
In revisiting the club’s history it has been an honor and a privilege to ponder again the achievements and contribution of past members of the club. One gets a sense of the dedication and the personality of individuals through looking at their photos and reading about their exploits. Sadly the tragic death of Daryl Brown ended the brilliant career of one of the top lightweight oarsmen in the state. He still had potentially four or five years of competing and with Alan Dixon and he was still blitzing it in lightweight pairs, he could have potentially been in a Victorian crew. Equally sadly, selection for state and Australian crews tended to remain very Melbourne-centric right up until the 1990’s.We will never know if he would have continued rowing but we can certainly remember and honour his exceptional achievements.
Daryl’s death overshadowed the year and the number of wins recorded was perhaps a reflection of this. We competed at thirteen regattas with thirty-seven crews recording just four wins. The most pleasing of the season’s wins was the club’s Novice eight scoring a victory towards the end of the season thus ensuring considerable material with which to approach the next season confidently. The crew was Stan Butler, Greg Jones, Kevin James, Rob McGuire, Darryl Williams, Graeme Angow, Peter Harris, John Faulkiner and Daryl Calvert the cox. Alan Dixon and Daryl Brown won Lightweight Senior pairs at Dimboola and VRA Regatta. At Ballarat Novice Regatta Ballarat City won the pairs and fours while Wendouree won the sculls race. The Novice four was D. Munt, E. Abele, R. Bolton and Andre Abele.
On the administration side, Mr. Francis E. Findlay, again gave sterling service in the president’s role. Alan Dixon continued as secretary in addition to training, racing and coaching and Bob Lawrie, who was well on the way to being our longest serving officer, was treasurer. Frank Findlay was also Secretary of the Ballarat Rowing Association which came with a heavy workload at Ballarat Regatta time, receiving entries and organising the regatta. As with any amateur sporting organization it is important to have a nucleus of “experienced” men who are prepared to put the time and effort into the interests of the club. This year was no exception and over the years City has been fortunate to have many such men and women too, who were prepared to volunteer and work hard for the club.
Finances remained reasonably sound with the biggest expense this year being the repainting of the shed. This was done by the members and supervised by the executive at a cost of $400.It was also decided in December that the president should approach the state Government to see if any arrangement could be made to alleviate the now crushing burden of repaying the loan that re-built the shed. Messrs. Findlay, Hauser and Edwards continued to work untiringly hiring the hall, cleaning up, setting up for functions and generally supervising all functions held at the shed.
Otto Hauser was again the main person responsible for maintaining the fleet and continued to take an active interest in all the club’s activities. Graeme Angow led the club in rowing matters as captain this season. Albie McGuire was back helping with coaching this year. Norm Angow transported rowers and boats all over the countryside making the Angow bus available to take crews to Dimboola. He also loaned his boat and motor to the club to assist with coaching crews. Colin Angow and Daryl Calvert shared the coxing load between them. The Angow family followed the tradition of “one in, all in” and it was certainly the “Angow Era” with Ian, Colin, Graeme, Norm and Bob all having substantial imput to the club.
Membership remained fairly static. While we lost some members to National Service and transfers in employment there were eight new members signed up. Norm Quarrell, the captain for last season, was called up and Phil Dixon left for further studies in Melbourne joining Melbourne Rowing Club. Tom Thompson went to the University of NSW and Tony Rowan transferred to Melbourne for employment. Vice-captain P. Harris resigned due to obtaining employment in Wangaratta and J. Faulkiner was elected to the position.
Simon Newcomb, the club’s VRA delegate showed his unfailing interest in rowing and the club by again organising boats and other assistance at Melbourne regattas. Simon also presented a perpetual trophy this year to be presented each season to the Most Improved Novice Oarsman. The Simon Newcomb trophy was awarded annually until 2000.The inaugural winner of the trophy was Greg Jones. Simon attended the Annual Meeting to make the presentation.
Daryl Brown joined the club in the 1960-61 season. He was the only child of the Mayor of Ballarat, Cr. M. J. Brown and Mrs. Brown. It was during the 1965-66 season that he began his enviable record in lightweight rowing which won for him the reputation of being one of the best lightweight strokes in the state. In that season he stroked 16 winning crews including the Australian National Lightweight pair Championship. He had over forty regatta wins in his eight year career as well as club and inter-club wins. He was also elected club captain this season. He was killed in a car accident in South Australia in January 4,1969.Three other young men also died in the accident, Daryl’s cousin Raymond Brown, Robert Foss and Eric James. His funeral was held at the Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church and he was buried in the New Cemetery.