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australian rowers profiles and history

Colin D Lewis

Mercantile Rowing Club (VIC)

Above: 1954 Champions Lightweight Eight, Colin Lewis in seven seat

Born 30 June 1931

Colin was a Champion lightweight in the early 1950s along with other great lightweight oarsmen of his era such as Ron Richardson, Geoff Roberston, Vic Sharp to name just a couple. He also served the Club well in the administration as Honorary Secretary.

Colin joined the Club as a junior in 1950-51 season and maintained his membership until 1965. He rejoined many years later in 2008. He commenced his rowing with Melbourne High.

Above: The lightweight/juniors thank coach Bob Aitken with a dinner in 1955 – Colin third from the left

Briefly his Championship rowing record looks like this although his many other race wins are not included:

13 Dec 1952 – Victorian Champion lightweight Four, three seat – 1st
19 Jan 1953 – Victorian Champion Lightweight Pair, bow – 1st
21 Mar 1953 – Victorian Champion Junior Eight, bow – 1st
19 Dec 1953 – Victorian Champion Lightweight Four, three seat – 1st
27 Mar 1954 – Victorian Champion Lightweight Eight, seven seat – 1st
27 Mar 1954 – Champion Lightweight Eight, seven seat – 1st
26 Mar 1955 – Champion Junior Eights, bow – 1st

Above: 1952 Victorian Champion Lightweight Four – Colin in the three seat

This record does not do Colin justice as he raced in numerous winning races in lightweight and junior events. Colin won the Captain’s trophy in 1953 and again in 1955.  This trophy is awarded to the member who has entered and won the most number of races in the season on the basis of one point per entry and one point per win. He was a prolific racer and winner.

One race which he remembered well was a Champion junior eight on the Lower Yarra on 21 March 1953. The Mercs crew won by only 2 feet after a gruelling race with Power House and Banks.

On the administrative side, Colin joined the Committee in 1953-54 season as Assistant Secretary. He became Honorary Secretary in the following season and held that post for two seasons before moving back to the Committee.

Colin clearly enjoyed his time at the Club and was a thoroughly good member.

Andrew Guerin
November 2018

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