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australian rowers profiles and history

W E Molle

Breakfast Creek Rowing Club now part of Brisbane and GPS Rowing Club (QLD)

Mole was a prominent Queensland rower of the 1890s racing in Queensland's first Intercolonial Championship victory in 1891.

The unusual note below of a Queensland club crew winning a NSW State Championship deserves explanation. The following is extracted from Jack Pritchard's Historyof Queensland rowing published in 1996, page 7:

During 1889 members of the prominent Bell family returned from finishing their education at Cambridge University and having been coached to the English standards caused somewhat of a revolution when they joined the Breakfast Creek Rowing Club. They rowed in and coached a four from that club which won the Four Oared Championship of New South Wales on May 17, 1890 from Mercantile R.C. (now Mosman) and Balmain R.C.. 

They rowed in a new best and best boat, the body seats being at the sides, similar to the body seats of an eight. The crew in the early stages was coached by Stephen Fairbairn and later J.T. Bell and R.H. Roe gave advice to the boat. The crew was seated H.T.S. Bell (B), W.E. Molle (2), C.B.P. Bell (3), W.A.D. Bell (S) and F. Slawson (Cox). This win gave a terrific impetus to the sport of rowing in Queensland. The bow man, H.T.S. Bell, was no relation to the Bell brothers, C.B.P. Bell and W.A.D. Bell. 

The following has been extracted from the Brisbane Telegraph of 8th September 1890 describing some interclub racing involving Molle:

Brisbane Creek Rowing Club - Champion Four of the shed:-- 

Race No. 1; for the championship of the shed, in best boats; course, 2 miles; prize, Challenge Cup, and the Porter Cup. —  F. Shepherdson (bow), W. Mole (2), R.G. Scott (3), E. Colclough (stroke), 1 ; J. Darvall (bow), A. J. Westaway (No. 2), A.H. Drury (No. 3), G. Graham (stroke), 2.

Race No 2.— Grammar School race, open to all grammar schools; fixed seats; course, I mile; Prize Challenge Cup and trophies.  Ipswich: A. Cameron (bow), G. Butler (No. 2), C.Hill (No. 3), B. Rowlands (stroke), 1; Brisbane: G. Hall (bow), J. Ferguson (No. 2), J.E. Dodds (No. 3), V. M'Donald (stroke), 2.

Race 3 . — Final heat of double sculling;  prize, medals; course, 1 1/2 mile. The heats of this event had been decided the previous day, and the contestants in the final were W.A. Douglas and H. S. Bliss, and W. Mole and G. Boulton. Mole's "stretchers" gave way and the race was not finished. It will probably be rowed during the week.

Race 4.— First heat of clubs fours, in clinker outriggers; course 1 1/2 mile. Prize, Drury Cups.   A. E. Alison (bow), E. Munro (No. 2), A. Drury (No. 3), J. Darvall (stroke),  1 ;   J. McSwain (bow), G. Halley (No. 2), E.Precious (No. 3), W. H. Sugar (stroke),   2. 

Second Heat. — R. Wallace (bow), G. Boulton (No. 2), A. Oliver (No. 3), G. Graham (stroke), 1;   A. Smith (bow), B. Harden (No.2), H. Knapp (No. 3), E. Colclough (stroke),   2.The final will probably be rowed during the week.

Race 6.— Handicap Sculling Race; course, 1 1/2 mile; prize, trophy.W. A. Douglas (6 Seconds), 1; G. W. Turnbull (scratch), 2 ; J. Flegeltaub (6 seconds), 3 ; A. B. Drury (10 seconds), 4. 

Major known racing:

1890 - Queensland Championships, men's four, two seat - First

1890 - NSW Championships, men's four, two seat - First

1890 - Intercolonial Championships, QLD men's eight, two seat - Second

1891 - Intercolonial Championships, QLD men's eight, six seat - First

Andrew Guerin and Steve Roll
June 2024

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