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australian rowers profiles and history

Charles John Dennys


Charles was a farmer, stock and station agent, tallow manufacturer and wool broker. His fame and fortune arose from establishing the first wool auctions in Geelong and was a pioneer of Australian wool sales which eventually surpassed those of London by the mid 1890s.

For our interest, he was a pioneer of rowing in Geelong, being a steward of, and competitor at, the first Geelong Regatta on Corio Bay in March 1844. He was also a steward of the first horse race meeting in 1843.

Frank Strachan's biography of Dennys sums up this man of high achievement as follows: "His career showed strong talent, imagination and resolution. A successful businessman, he exploited the opportunities offered by the rich Victorian Western District, for the benefit of Geelong as well as himself, and he was an influential pioneer of the process whereby domestic sales of Australian wool surpassed London sales by the mid-1890s."

Compiled by Andrew Guerin
February 2024

Source: Frank Strachan, 'Dennys, Charles John (1818–1898)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 15 May 2022.

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