1935

Regatta racing was not as spectacular with the club only attending five regattas and finishing in eleventh place on the Junior premiership with eight points. We attended Henley, Ballarat Novice Regatta at thee end of 1934 and the Colac, Barwon and Ballarat Regattas. The Maiden eight of S.Hillman, Stan Wilton, K.Capp, A.Loughton, F.Moon, Charlie Pennant, J.Allen, B.Franks coached by club Captain Otto Hauser won convincingly. At Colac our maiden four of K.Capp, D.Wood, F.Moon, and Charlie Pennant were successful. At Ballarat Regatta we had two wins with Lew Zilles and R.Aley winning Junior pairs and P.Moon and A.Hayes winning the maiden pairs. Ballarat Regatta celebrated the centenary of the foundation of Victoria in 1935 and the regatta opened two weeks of centenary celebrations in Ballarat. The regatta had an unprecedented entry of 105 crews. A Regatta Girl competition was held and won by Miss L.Chester of Loch Avenue. Of an evening there were Venetian illuminated poles from Durham Point to Macarthur Street which had crowds thronging to the Lake to see the spectacle.

The Ballarat Novice Regatta provided the opportunity for the club to christen its new racing four. Mrs. Bunce duly christened the boat the TED EDWARDS in honour of that gentleman’s continued great work on behalf of the club. While regatta attendances were well down social events proliferated. There were more social events run by the club than rowing events! The first combined social/rowing event was opening day with the nomination pairs being raced for the entertainment of the ladies. Otto Hauser and B. Franks won the trophies donated by the president Mr. C. H. Bunce. Next on the calendar was the Social Club picnic. This was the third Annual picnic held at Burrumbeet as a thank you to that hardworking group. Two table tennis tables were purchased and many nights were spent enjoying games of table tennis. The club also entered a team in the Ballarat Table Tennis Association pennant competition.These table tennis tables were still at the shed in the 1980’s until they were sold off to raise much needed funds for rowing equipment.

Several social evenings were held to “encourage” social amenities between rowing members of the club and the various committees that worked on behalf of the club.Mr. Joe Bickart continued as president of the Social Committee ably supported by Tommy Stevens as secretary and Ted Edwards as treasurer.

More improvements were made to the shed this season including completion of the dressing/shower room, polishing the walls of the dance hall, a hot water service installed, the shed painted and the eaves lined, new bike rack erected, shelves installed in kitchen cupboards and light and screens installed in the dressing room. Several attempts were made to have sewerage connected to the shed but despite repeated requests this was not achieved in this year.

The Social Committee held its third Annual Meeting and dinner in the new boathouse to ‘celebrate the completion of the effort to finance the building of the new boathouse.’ All the committee and their wives and lady friends attended and enjoyed an excellent five course dinner and a musical programme provided by the Denza Band and various vocalists. At the back of the menu/programme for the evening Joe Bickart and T. J Stephens wrote the following: –

“May 12th, 1932 was a very important day in the history of the Ballarat City rowing Club. On that evening the Ballarat City Social Club came into being and it had a stupendous task before it. We often dreamed of having a new up to date boatshed, but if any of those present on the evening referred to, had forecasted, that in three years, the Ballarat City Rowing Club would be the proud owners of a 3000 pound boathouse, the best in Australasia, and in addition have it fully paid for, the rest of us would have said “DON’T WAKE US”. However the dream has come true and tonight we celebrate.

We take this opportunity of thanking the members of our committee for their loyalty and sustained energy over a long period, the members of the ladies Social Committee and the members of various stall committees, past and present, for assistance so gladly given, to make the effort of building the new Ballarat City boathouse one of the most successful ever attempted.”

To give some idea of the money involved the gross takings for the weekly dances in the period 12/5/32 to 3/9/35 was some 8000 pounds. Honorary Life member Mr. Dick Mitchell died this year. He would be missed as a generous benefactor to City and to rowing in Ballarat generally. As has happened throughout our history, we again lost several valuable members who transferred to Melbourne for employment. Foremost amongst these was Mr. Cotter James. Maurice and Matt O’Leary who had featured in winning crews over the past few seasons also departed, as did Mr. Gordon Whitworth, designer of the club badge. They all had a lasting impact on the club and they would be hard to replace.

South side of Ballarat Rowing Club looking back over Wendouree Parade to Nazareth House. 1935
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