Winners Maiden Pair, Ballarat Regatta 1908. W.Commons, H.Hawkins; cox: O.McPhail

Mr.E.Shew retired as President at 1908 Annual Meeting. Mr. Jas Tulloch was again elected  as President and Alf Dawson was Captain for the 1908-09 season. A Social evening was held following the Annual Meeting where Dr. Champion proposed a toast to former president Mr. E. Shew who was departing Ballarat. In it he stated that while Ballarat would lose Mr. Shew, the club would still have him as a patron. He had done a great deal for good honest sport in every branch particularly rowing and while he was leaving, his heart would remain with them. Mr. Shew responded saying it was a wrench to leave Ballarat and that he regarded rowing as a magnificent sport and one that taught the necessary lessons of discipline.

 “A good rowing man must be a good and decent fellow.”

A letter was received from the regatta committee with a draft proposal of rules for the suggested new Regatta Association in Ballarat, which would in future control the Ballarat Regatta and rowing matters generally in the town. The meeting approved the formation of the Association. This was the commencement of the Ballarat Rowing Association or B.R.A. which still operates today.

Thirty five new members were elected

Ballarat Regatta on the 28th of February 1908 was a “brilliant success”. The club fielded crews in Maiden and Junior sculls, Maiden pairs and Maiden eight. In the Maiden eights and sculls events the club was not successful but the Maiden pair of William Commons and H. Hawkins rowed “in a splendid race winning with ease”. Crews from the club also competed at Barwon Regatta but without success. The club also attended Bairnsdale Regatta on Easter Saturday and were represented by E.A.James and Robert Commons in the Maiden pairs.

Seven trial fours competed in the intra club race. Supporters of the club donated trophies and, as always the races were keenly contested. H. Hawkins crew won the final from R. V. Hare’s crew.

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