1909

The Annual report of 1909 stated that the club had struggled for existence during the past few seasons but that a healthy tone characterised this meeting, which was held at Newton’s Hotel with the president Mr Jas Tulloch in the chair.

The report went on to say that the club had been fairly successful in every area this season. Crews had paid better attention to their training therefore although not winning many regatta races,the crews representing the club showed good form in their races and were in most cases only beaten by a narrow margin. The membership too showed an increase on the past year and there was every prospect for a still greater increase in the coming season.

The first regatta for the year was the Ballarat Rowing Associations Novice Regatta. This was an outstanding success for the club winning two out of the three events and placing second in the other event.

At Ballarat Regatta we again scored our only win in Junior pairs this year. Robert Commons and H.Hawkins  with Ozzie McPhail the cox were the successful crew. At Colac Regatta on New Year’s Day the club sent a Maiden eight which was beaten into second place by Banks Rowing Club by a mere half a length.

Captain Alf Dawson worked hard coaching members throughout the year. He also donated a pair of cake dishes as trophies for the scratch pair races. Vice-captain E.A. James overhauled and repaired boats over winter and Mr.C.F.Cutter gave them all a good coat of varnish. Once again Mr. Franklin kept the shed in repair.Financially the club finished the season with arrears of 15 pounds, which was considered not too great a debt to carry.

Two new boatsheds were built on the lake this year. The Wendouree Rowing Club replaced their old shed which they had taken over in 1884 and built the two story Victorian shed we see today. It was not without controversy though. Ballarat is the only place in Victoria where the boatsheds are required to be built over the water instead of on the shore. In an effort to circumvent the expense and difficulty of building over the water, Wendouree started to construct their shed 23 feet towards Wendouree Parade which would have put it over the footpath and almost up to the road edge. The Council however came and inspected the building and made them pull down the section that had been built and put it back on its current frontage!

St.Patricks College also constructed their boatshed on the site on the south side of the Lake in one of the most picturesque spots known as the Quarry Holes. It was designed by Mr. Clegg and Miller architects and cost 300 pounds.

Ballarat City eight circa 1909 in foreground. New Wendouree Rowing Club boatshed in background.
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