1886

In reviewing the year it was felt that the general depression in the Ballarat district had affected the club and all athletic institutions. Ballarat saw the departure of more young men in this twelve months than in any other since the discovery of gold. Despite losing many members, both old stalwarts and young prospects, the successes were quite reasonable. At the start of the season in December the crew of Alfred Dawson, W. Robertson, J. Robinson and J. Anwyl won both Junior and Maiden Fours at Colac regatta. The club was also represented at Ballarat, Barwon and Upper Yarra Regattas but without success. The crew of Messrs Byrne, Dobson, Dawson and Robertson had a titanic struggle at Ballarat Regatta against the famous Melbourne Rowing Club crew stroked by R. D. Booth in the senior four for the coveted Sunbury Challenge Cup. Although highly praised for their efforts unfortunately they did not secure the Cup this year. Mr. J. Grant was a successful sculler for the club this season winning the Maiden sculls at Ballarat Regatta. The club also boated a Maiden eight and a Senior eight. Scratch racing was held with a series of combined events with the ‘sister’ clubs Ballarat and the newly formed Wendouree. The crew of J. Anwyl, Hynan, Oldham and Dawson carried of the honours and the trophies from this series presented by the officers of the club.

Finances were somewhat straitened this season and the City Council made the welcome decision to remit the rates of all the boat clubs for the year.

The Annual report closed with the following sentiments:

 “There is every indication of a large increase of new members and it is with that view, knowing the invaluable benefits to be derived from such an institution as ours, that we desire to impress on all our members the necessity of informing their relatives and friends of the great inducements we offer at such a nominal sum for health, exercise and recreation…”

The Annual meeting was again held at Brophy’s Hotel with the president Mr.Daniel Brophy in the chair. Mr. Brophy had now given fifteen years of continuous service to the club. Once again though the season was disrupted by unavoidable changes to the committee. At the beginning of the season Captain McNaughton had to leave town temporarily so much of the early coaching and organizing for the season fell on the shoulders of Vice-captain Barnes. This was followed by the departure of John Fitzgerald who was treasurer and Emerson Baylee the secretary who both obtained promotions in employment that entailed their moving to Melbourne. While these departures took place later in the season to lose such key committeemen would have been keenly felt.

My hand-drawn map showing the original rowing course and the various features around the Lake showing the 13 hotels that originally graced its shores!

1.DURHAM-next to Brown’s Flour Mill near Mill Street.Est.1866.Closed 1866.

2.LAKE VIEW-Corner of Mill Street.Est.1875.Still in operation. T.Gill, original licensee.

3.LUBENTIA CLUB-one of a group of four public houses between Webster and Mill

   Street.Est.1864.Closed 1866.J.C.Shepherd,licensee.

4.ORIENTAL-nearly opposite the start of the rowing  course corner of Carlton Street 

  (1864course).Est.1864.Closed 1866.J.W.Brace licensee.Later Jenkins Hydropathic Establishment.

5.PARADE-N.E.corner of Webster Street.Est.1864.Closed 1915.J.Vowles,licensee.

6.REGATTA-N.E.corner of McArthur Street.Est.1864.Closed 1864  J.Cummings, licensee

7.THE FRIEND-between Mill and McArthur Street.Est.1865.Closed 1865.T.Friend, Licensee 

8.UNION-est.1858.Closed 1861.J.Wormald,licensee.

9.WATERMAN’s ARMS-N.E. corner Dowling Street.Est.1864.Closed,1886.  M.Hassell, licensee

10.WENDOUREE-S.E.corner Mill Street on site of the Lake View.Est.1862.Closed1875. G.Birch,licensee.Ned Williams was also licensee for several years.

11.BOTANICAL GARDENS-possibly near the Gardens,actual site not known.Est.1865.Closed 1865.E.Cooper Licensee.

12.SWAMP-exact site not known.Probably at the end of Webster Street.Est.1856.Burnt down 1859

13.WHEATSHEAF-S.E.corner Exeter Street.Mr.Grant,licensee.Est.1863.Closed 1915.

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