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australian rowers profiles and history

Squadron Leader A Hugh G Clarke DFC, MBE

Mercantile Rowing Club (VIC)

Died 7th September 1968

The following obituary appeared in the Mercantile 1968-69 annual report.

With the untimely death of Hugh Clarke on 7th September, 1968, at the age of forty-eight years, the Club lost one of that loyal band of members whose continuing enthusiasm and loyalty have over the years shown what the Club has meant to them and what it can mean to those who come after them. 

Hugh joined the Club as a Junior Member in 1938 following in the footsteps of his father, Alex Clarke, who spent a lifetime in the Club, the last thirty years of it as Treasurer. 

Hugh's rowing career, interrupted by five years of distinguished service with the R.A.A.F., culminated in his selection in the Victorian crew which won the first post war King's Cup race at Penrith in 1946. 

He was active also in Club administration and served as Captain in the 1946-47 season. Upon the death of Frank Brown in 1952, he accepted the position as Auditor, in which capacity his co-operation and advice have over the years proved invaluable. 

Hugh was a man of wide and varied interests not only in the accounting and commercial fields but also in charitable activities, particularly those associated with the Air Force. For these services, he was honoured in 1966 by the award of Membership of the Order of the British Empire. 

Despite all these many activities, Hugh still found time for rowing, for the Club and for its members, and there are many who from time to time have had cause to be grateful for his unobtrusive assistance. Hugh was a Mercantilian and all who claim that honour have lost a staunch and loyal friend. 

1946 victorious Victorian King's Cup crew with Hugh Clarke in four seat

Andrew Guerin
February 2023

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