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australian rowers profiles and history

R Geoff Harding

Yarra Yarra Rowing Club (VIC)

Son of Reg Harding, husband of Bette Harding

Joined 1944/45 passed away 1/12/1996 

Committee 1944/45 45/46 & 48/49 –49/50 

Assistant secretary 1946/47

Captain 1947/78 51/52 & 52/53 

Vice president 1953/54----61/62 & 69/70—76/77

President 1962/63—68/69 

Life member 1965/66

Wins recorded:-

1945 - Metropolitan regatta, novice eight (3)

1946 - Barwon regatta, novice four (bow)

1946 - Bairnsdale regatta, novice pair (bow)

1946 - Nagambie regatta, maiden eight (5)

1946 - Colac regatta, maiden eight (5)

1947 - Upper Yarra regatta, maiden four (2)

1947 - Albert Park regatta, maiden four (2)

1947 - Barwon regatta, maiden pair (stroke)

1948 - Colac regatta, junior pair (bow)

1950 - Colac regatta, junior pair (bow)

Geoff was the main instigator of the shed renovations in 1964, most of the required tools came from his business.

Geoff was also involved with the Victorian Rowing Association, where he was part of the committee of management. He was also involved in the preparation of the Ballarat venue for the 1956 Olympics.

From the Yarra Yarra Rowing Club newsletter 'Yarra Yabbie' no 10, 1984-3-20

Personalities one associates with Yarra over a very long period, which has been a strong point of the club.

Vice Presidents Andy Currie, Geoff Harding and Jim Wilson have maintained a long interest in club affairs and have been great benefit to Yarra.

From the Yarra Yabbie no 221987-3-20

Obituary; We regret to advise Geoff Harding passed away just before Christmas after a relatively short illness. Geoff was a life member of the club, he joined Yarra in 1945, was captain in in the early fifties, president in the sixties. Geoff was a major force on the Victorian Rowing Association and Kings Cup manager, and particularly involved with bringing the Ballarat course up to world standard.

Geoff was also the mainstay in the concreting of the down stairs floor which involved lifting the back of the clubhouse by 18 inches, and without Geoff’s expertise, the 30-40 club slaves would have reduced it to a crumbling heap. He also played a big part in the completion of the Carey annexe.

Many club projects, including our first boat transport frame, were organised through Geoff’s vision, and ability to weld a crew into working unit and get the best out of them.

We will sadly miss his advice and forthright thinking, and we pass on our sincere condolences to his wife Bettie, and his son John and family.

From the 1986/87 annual report:-

Also after a short illness, Geoff Harding passed away in December 1986. He had been Captain, President and Vice President of the club and was a life member at the time of his passing. He was a leading spirit behind many of the clubs successes in this era despite a very full business life which put above-average demands upon his time. To Bette and John we extend our deepest sympathy on their loss.

1946 Sale regatta novice pair Geoff in bow seat

V R A regatta 16/11/1946 Geoff Harding 5 seat maiden eight

1946 Barwon regatta novice four Geoff in bow seat

His 1951 marriage to Bette who became a strong supporter of the club and the sport

Jim Skidmore
June 2024

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