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australian rowers profiles and history

Charles Fairbairn

Cambridge University Boat Club (UK)


1875 - APS Head of the River, Geelong Grammar, stroke - Unplaced

1875 - Captain of Boats - Geelong Grammar School

1879 - The Boat Race Cambridge, six seat - First

1911 - Presented the Fairbairn Challenge Cup for the Head of the River race in Victoria.

The following information is extracted from his biography in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, MUP, Volume 8, 1981, and written by Michael D. De B. Collins Persse. 

..... Charles, was born on 12 August 1858 at Kelso, Scotland. He matriculated at Cambridge in October 1877 and rowed in the university crew which defeated Oxford in 1879. Later he was joint manager with George of the family interests in Queensland, where with his brothers he played a leading part in breaking the shearers' strike of 1891. In 1897 he acquired Banongill, near Skipton, Victoria, and in 1918 Wooloomanata, near Lara, where he spent his final years. In 1911 he presented the Fairbairn Challenge Cup for the headship of the river among the associated public schools of Victoria. Charles had married Elizabeth Osborne on 15 July 1891 at St Stephen's Church of England, Elsternwick. He died in Melbourne on 27 October 1925 of cerebro-vascular disease, predeceased by his wife and survived by two daughters and three sons, one of whom was James Valentine.

Andrew Guerin
June 2021

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