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australian rowers profiles and history

Cecil A M West

Adelaide Rowing Club (SA)

1922 – Interstate Men’s Championships manager

1923 – Interstate Men’s Championships manager

1924 – Interstate Men’s Championships manager

1924 – Olympic Games – Unofficial rowing manager - no section managers were appointed in those day but he was the manager of the crew

The victorious Murray Bridge crew after winning the Olympic Test race

Standing left to right - Unknown, H E Wynne, J P Marcus, F Willoughby, W Christopher, R H Wallman (Chairman SARA), His Excellency Sir Tom Bridges, E Higgs, H L Binney, C A Jepp, C A M West (Hon Sec SARA), S A Johnson, far right unknown
Crew members are from left to right, A C Tauber, E D Thomas, W E H Jarvis, R A Cummings, F M Cummings, H E Graetz, W M Sladden, A V Scott, W H Pfeiffer, G E Tucker (emergency), Aud Martin

West was the Honorary Secretary of the South Australian Rowing Association.  However he was also Secretary of the Adelaide Stock Exchange.

In newspaper reports in The Adelaide Advertiser of 9th April 1924, the love of the sport above his other interests became clear.

Comment by Mr West.

"Since my application for leave of absence necessary to enable me to go to Europe," Mr West told a representative of "The Advertiser" on Tuesday, "was refused by the Committee of the Stock Exchange, owing to the difficulty of making tentative arrangements during my absence, I have been frequently urged to undertake the trip with the Olympic rowing crew if I could possible arrange to do so. My interest in the sport and my close association with the Murray Bridge crew led me to consider this suggestion very carefully. After mature thought, I resolved upon a course of action which I deemed would meet then case. Accordingly I decided to resign my position as secretary of the Stock Exchange of Adelaide and to take advantage of an offer to enter into partnership with Mr C W Larkins, sharebroker and a member of the Stock Exchange. This enables me to go to Europe, as Mt Larkins has facilitated my arrangements for absence."

One suspects that there was some behind the scenes work by the sporting public of Adelaide with this decisions. It also just so happens that he succeeded a Mr H W Hodgetts as secretary of the Exchange. Mr Hodgetts was the then secretary of the State Olympic Council.

Hodgetts credited West with the Murray Bridge crew being given the opportunity to compete. Hodgetts is quoted in The Advertiser on 9th April 1924 as follows:

"His splendid efforts in connection with the Olympic crew were well known, and it was mainly due to his energy and ability that the opportunity was given to the Murray Bridge crew to go to Paris."

Andrew Guerin
April 2020


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