1931 Diamond Jubilee

The Diamond Jubilee of the club was celebrated this season and the club put in a concerted effort to increase the number of regatta successes in this milestone year. To this end the club was represented at every regatta, which involved considerable expense, and sacrifice but the effort paid off. The club improved from 14th place on the Junior Premiership with 8 points last season to third on the Premiership and 28 points this season. Financially the effects of the depression were obvious as expenditure exceeded receipts and many members failed to pay their subscription. The weekly dances that the club held also suffered from a lack of support thus reducing that important source of income. The 60th Annual meeting was held at the Wattle Tearooms and the president Mr. Bunce was in the chair.

The regatta results were again on the upward swing with the club scoring wins at Henley, VRA, Colac, Barwon, Ballarat, Upper Yarra and Footscray. At Footscray the club succeeded in winning the maiden eight-the first for some years. Four members had a particularly successful season. Messrs. J. Connelly, J. Miller, A. Hynes and S. Fleming began their racing at the start of the season in novice fours then followed up with a Maiden four win at Colac and were half of the winning Maiden eight at Footscray. They also raced in a Junior four at Ballarat and in a Champion Junior eight finishing in third place. It was a very fine performance to advance from novice fours to Junior fours in one season.

As a result of having obtained the highest number of points on the VRA Junior Premiership, the club became holders of the J. H. Wise Shield for 1931-32.We also collected for our efforts the Colac Traders Association Challenge Cup for the ensuing twelve months. The coaches of the crews were Charles Suffren, Ted Edwards, Bill Blaikie, Jack Lawrie, L. Miller and V. Thomas. Jack Lawrie was responsible for coaching the Novice four and at the Annual meeting, Mr. Connelly stroke of the crew, presented him with a framed photograph of the four. Coxswains for the season were “Acey” Wilson, the indefatigable Teddy Jones, B. Frank, E. Philp and C. Wilton.

Over the winter, members once again volunteered their time to overhaul the fleet and repair the old shed. There seems to be a tradition of members of the club volunteering to do all the repair and maintenance work on the boatshed and the boats and oars. The club has been fortunate that we have had members with the skills and the time to contribute to the club in this way. Even up until 2015 club members spent considerable time and energy replacing jetty timbers, painting, repairing boats, re-varnishing oars. The boatshed in all its incarnations has needed maintenance of some sort nearly every year. Changes in boats and oars in the last 20-30 years has meant that working bees to re-varnish wooden boats over winter are no longer required. Any damage to boats caused by members, now has to be professionally repaired at great expense. Nearly every annual report the president would urge members to take better care of the equipment. Some things never change and I for one certainly wish current members would take better care of the equipment. More damage has been caused to the fleet over the last five years than in the 145 years previous!

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