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australian rowers profiles and history

Robert L Cawsey

Yarra Yarra Rowing Club (VIC)

Robert Lesley (Bob) Cawsey

Member 1907/08 to 1913/14 and passed away 24/11/1977.

Bob was a valuable member of his club serving it in the following positions despite not being a champion oarsman.

The only regatta entry found was a maiden eight which he did not win:

1907 - V R A regatta, maiden eight (4) 

No regatta wins have been recorded in regatta or club events.

The Yarra Yarra Rowing Clun newsletter 'Yarra Yabbie' no 72 September 1998 records:

Some more Yarra history

Bob Cawsey was a member of Yarra Yarra from 1907- 1912. When he was aged 94 yrs, he wrote for his recollections of club of that era. Bob passed away in 1977. He is an extract from a letter sent to Peter Gill.

I first became a member of YYRC in the year 1907. About six months later I signed up to become honorary secretary. The president at the time was Joe Rillett, and later Charlie Hume. Most of the former champions, such as Charlie, had almost completed their rowing careers at the time. Their reputations, however, still remained around the club, especially the bar. It was later claimed that they trained on beer.

It may interest you to learn that the course of the river, about a mile or so, was widened considerably and straightened out. The river immediately after passing Punt Rd, took a swan neck turn into Yarra Park and back again into Melbourne. In 1890, after heavy rain, the Yarra caused a tremendous flood, which flooded the Melbourne High School playing field, which was then a cow paddock. Boats were used to rescue residents from the few houses in Toorak Rd and the dairy farm which ran back to the river. Whenever the Yarra is mentioned it awakens memories.


Robert Cawsey

Jim Skidmore
June 2024

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