1936 Boat bonanza!

The Social Committee this year purchased five new boats. Never before or since has the club been in the position to buy so many boats to add to the existing fleet. They bought a practice eight, two practice fours and two practice sculls that would be invaluable in bringing novice rowers up to scratch.

With regatta wins and premiership points the club were back down to 11th position this season still ahead of clubs like Essendon and Corio Bay and only a few points behind Wendouree Rowing Club, who after their successes latter half of the 1920’s, were also feeling the pinch. Ballarat Rowing Club failed to score a win this season. The stand out club was Richmond who won both Senior and Junior premierships. The club again entered the Championship Pair event having had an entry in every year since the race’s inception. This year the club representatives were W.Blaikie and R.Aley who rowed an excellent race to finish in third place.

The club attended a total of nine regattas for the season beginning with Henley and concluding with Sale and Bairnsdale Regattas, which had started up again as the Depression began to ease. At Ballarat Regatta we entered nine crews but were unable to score a win. It was Sale/Bairnsdale that provided the highlight for the year with the club’s Lightweight four winning the double. The crew were J. Allen, Alf Bannister, and G. Slattery. K. McKenzie with Warwick Ehms the cox. Mr. T. J. (Tommy) Stevens coached the crew. Club racing showed considerable strength with the Trial Fours, City Fire Brigade Scratch Fours and the Scratch Pairs being raced. Winners of the Trial Fours were G. Slattery, Alf Bannister, Otto Hauser and A. Hayes again with Warwick Ehms the cox. The City Fire Brigade donated trophies as Mr. Bunce, club president, was also a stalwart member of the City Firebrigade.

C. Kersy, I. Henry, Peter Moon and K. McKenzie. McKenzie won the Fire Brigade Scratch fours and Moon also won the pairs competition. A points competition was held for members and coxswains this season with points being awarded for wins and placings. The most successful oarsman was Alf Bannister and Warwick Ehms the most successful cox. Alf Bannister would go on to continue his association with the club and was still serving on the committee and attending working bees in the 1970’s. It told us many stories about rowing in the ‘30s on the cold winter’s nights when we would be assisting with overhauling the boats and maintaining the shed.

On the social scene activities continued to be held regularly and were well attended. The fourth Annual Picnic was held at Burrumbeet. The table tennis team again entered the local pennant competition and during the winter months sports nights were held to alleviate the boredom of winter training. A series of Leap Year dances were held. The first one was a great success but the other two failed as a social or financial prospect due to inclement weather. I guess it was too cold and wet for people to go out at night to attend the dance.Work on the shed continued with new eight racks added, blinds fitted to the south side of the shed, the balcony floor covered with a waterproof material and a new electric dance sign fixed to the roof.

Winners of the Sale/Bairnsdale Regattas, Lightweight Fours Double, 1936.
           Cox, W. Ehms; stroke, K. McKenzie; 3,G. Slattery; 2,A. Bannister; bow, J. Allen.
From the Weekly Times ,1941. Harry Bunce can always be identified in club photos as he always wears a buttonhole. He also used to provide flowers to decorate the hall for the boatshed dances.
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