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australian rowers profiles and history

Tom Hughes

Commercial Rowing Club (QLD)

An athlete of outstanding ability. Jack Pritchard in his book Rowing in Queensland provides the following snapshot.

Tom Hughes, who was associated with Winter in four of the Champion Fours wins. Considered to be one of the finest athletes Queensland had produced up to 1900, he was of grand physique, rowing at 12 st. 10 lbs. and could stay all day. He also won Under 20, maiden, junior and senior fours, senior double sculls, senior pairs and maiden sculls. He rowed in No. 7 seat in the 1885 Intercolonial Eight behind E. Winter. When the question of sending an Australian eight-oar crew to England in 1889 came up, the Southerners were unanimous (as was Queensland) in selecting Hughes as the Queensland representative. As a footballer (rugby union) he played for Queensland against New South Wales several times and against the Maori and England teams. Played Intercolonial and International cricket for Queensland, and as an amateur boxer, won the heavyweight tournament at the Brisbane Gymnasium. 

Pritchard later record how Hughes was a driving force behind the formation of the Queensland Rowing Association in 1888.

At the Breakfast Creek RC. A.G.M. held on January 20, 1888, Mr. T. Hughes proposed That the secretary be instructed to write to the secretaries of other clubs, requesting them to take united action in considering the re-formation of the Rowing Association. The motion was carried unanimously. 

Rowing record

1886 and 1887 - competed successfully for Commercial Rowing Club

1888 - Queensland Championships at Brisbane, three seat - First

1889 - Queensland Championships, Men's Four, three seat - First

1889 - Intercolonial Championships men's Eight, seven seat - Fourth

Andrew Guerin
January 2023

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