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australian rowers profiles and history

C Grover Emery

Mercantile Rowing Club (VIC)

24th March 1888 - 19th October 1956

Charles Grover Emery (known as Grover), 1888-13th October, 1956, was the son of George Edwin Emery CMG and Ada Gertrude Heley, one of seven children. George Emery headed up the State Bank of Victoria.

Grover was educated at Melbourne Grammar School and raced in their first eight in 1905 in the three seat. They finished second behind Wesley College that year. The MGS boatshed is named after the stroke of the crew Simon Fraser, and Harry Ross Soden was a member of the 1912 Olympic eight.

Grover was a particularly good sportsman, also excelling in football and athletics. His MGS record shows that he was a Probationer and in the VIII and Athletic Teams in 1905, and was afterwards a farmer at "Fairview," Narromine, N.S.W., and later at York, W.A . and then at Taggerty, Vic. He was on the Alexandra Shire Council from 1932-37 when he moved to Malvern. During the second world war he joined the Department of Supply where he served until his retirement In 1953. (Obituary from The Melburnian 1956, Volume 81, No 3, Page 178) provided by Luisa Moscato, MGS archivist.

1905 Melbourne Grammar First Eight
Standing: L.W. Officer (bow), C. Grover Emery (3), D.J. Rand (4), F.E. Dossetor (5), G. Ross-Soden (2). Sitting: Harry Ross-Soden, Simon Fraser (stroke), E.R. Cordner (6). In front: K. McWhae (cox)

Photo courtesy of Melbourne Grammar School Archives - catalogue no 006574

Grover appears to have joined Mercantile Rowing Club in 1906 or 1907 and raced very successfully in the 1906-07 and 1907-08 seasons winning six races. At that time, there were few regattas with large entries so this level of success was material. His race wins were as follows:

1908 - Colac Regatta, Maiden Four, two seat - First
1908 - Footscray Regatta, Maiden Eight, stroke - First
1908 - Nagambie Regatta, Junior Pair, stroke - First
1908 - Paynesville Regatta, Junior Four, two - First
1908 - Australian Henley Regatta, Junior Eights for the Founders' Cup, four seat - First
1908 - Geelong and Barwon Regatta, Maiden Pair, stroke - First

His 1908 Henley pot was donated to the Club by Grover's family in 2023 and now is in the Club's trophy cabinet.

Photo: Andrew Guerin

There is no rowing record after that time. His family advise that he became a farmer near York, Western Australia. Two of his brothers served in WWI as aviators, with one dying in France. Grover did not serve, probably due to his farming activities. He married Isabella Cameron 1885-1969 and their family was brought up in Western Australia.

Emery later in life
Photo courtesy of the Emery Family

Margaret Emery and Andrew Guerin
July 2023


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