1901

Dr. E. Champion was the president this season with C. H. Bunce the secretary and recorded on the committee for the first time. W. Hawthorne was treasurer and R. A. Petrie the captain.

Ballarat Regatta on the 22nd of February 1901 was hailed as one of the most successful ever held, with the prize money the largest sum that had been offered in years. Due largely to this incentive the number of competing oarsmen was also up on previous years. Ballarat City, although well represented, only recorded one win at the regatta – Mr. T Murphy in the Maiden sculls. The day after the Ballarat Regatta on February 23rd saw the staging of the inaugural Pair-oared Championship of Victoria. This was held in perfect weather on a full lake and was a grand success also. The club was represented to a creditable second placing by the crew of Mr. Charles Suffren and Mr. E. J. Ryan. Winners of the first Championship Pairs were Mercantile with the equally famous P. C. Ivens and A. B. Sloan, Ballarat were third and Wendouree fourth. The time for the mile was 7 minutes.

Racing at regattas started with the VRA (Melbourne Regatta) on December 21st. The club was represented by a Maiden four and a Junior scull. The Maiden four also went to Nagambie on Boxing Day but no wins were recorded at either of these regattas. The Sculling Championship of Ballarat was held in December and the club was successful in carrying off the honours for a third year in succession with club Captain R .A. Petrie being crowned Champion this season.

E.J.Ryan

Edward James Ryan started his rowing career at Ballarat and transferred to Ballarat City not long after. He would later move back to Ballarat with Charles Suffren where they would be part of several Champion crews. He was born at Carngham in 1870 and was probably educated there. In his youth he was an outstanding athlete. He rowed in the 1899 Ballarat crew which won the Grand Challenge Cup for Champion eights and was again part of the crew in 1905.In the interim he spent at least two seasons at Ballarat City serving on the committee and representing the club in the Champion pairs race of 1902.He moved to Lismore in 1915 and made his home there. He was a highly respected member of the community serving on many committees ,most notably as secretary to the small Catholic congregation, was responsible for the building of St.John’s Church in 1922.He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1934.He died in 1951 aged 81 leaving his wife Winifred and family John, Maxwell,Leo(dec),Win and Anthony.

(Information courtesy  Sue Heywood,  granddaughter)

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