1947 Brave new world

With Mr. Bunce sadly passing away at the end of 1946, Ted Edwards stepped up to the President’s job. He had filled many roles on committee and now he had the task of steering the club through the difficult aftermath of war. Warwick Ehms was Captain for the second part of the season and Lyle Augustini the secretary. Otto Hauser and Stan Wilton,although not on the committee continued to coach and keep all the boats afloat quite literally by repairing anything that got damaged. This was just as well because even if rowing clubs could afford new boats, there was no boat builder in Victoria and there was a twelve month wait on orders from George Towns or Gus Green in Sydney.The management of the club finances during the war years was sound and the treasurer Mr. Jack Lawrie managed to bring the club through with a substantial credit. The club’s excess over liabilities (including the boatshed, equipment and cash in the bank) was some 8000 pounds. Cotter James was still involved with the club as VRA delegate. Mr. Lew Zillies again took movies of crews in training and several film nights were held to show these. An honour roll of members who served in WW2 was being prepared so that their contribution could be recognised by the club.

In an effort to get crews race ready club racing was held every week during the season. Challenge pairs were raced for a medallion donated by the Social committee. The winners of this series were the pair of Frank Beattie and Albie McGuire. Trophies for the most successful oarsmen taken on the point score of races entered and placing are went to O. O’Neill and M. Harris. After attending Henley in November 1946 the next regatta was Colac where the club had a near record entry of a Junior pair, Maiden eight, Maiden four, Maiden pair, Lightweight maiden four, Lightweight pair and two Novice fours. The following two regattas at Ballarat and Barwon had pretty much the same start list with the exception of the Novice fours. No successes came our way despite the excellent numbers competing. It wasn’t until the conclusion of the season at Mildura/Wentworth regatta that the club finally ‘got lucky’. New recruits Albie McGuire and Frank Beattie with Johnnie Morris the cox took out a superb double in the Maiden pairs winning by such a margin, daylight was second! Albie would go on to contribute to the club as a rower and committee member and stay involved with the club for the next 35 years.

Winners of the Maiden pair double, Mildura and Wentworth Regattas, 1947.

Johnny Morris (cox), Frank Beattie (stroke) and Albie McGuire (bow). Coach: Hammy (Les) Hamilton. The photograph on the left is the happy trio after the race at Mildura. The broad grins say it all. Johnny Morris was from the Lake View Hotel. His family ran the hotel during the 50’s and 60’s. He was the permanent cox for Albie and Frank. So it was really a winning trio!

Johnny Morris on the jetty of the 1932 shed which shows the balcony and the sign writing on the Lake side of the shed. The jetty was the only thing that remained after the 1950 fire and over the years it has been repaired and replaced many times. most recently during the 2006-2012 drought when the band of 10 members actually replaced posts, bearers and decking. This was the most comprehensive overhaul it has had.

J. Morris, cox, Frank Beattie, stroke and Albie McGuire, bow.
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