1967 Victorian Country Champion eight

Country Championship Eight 1967: Cox: Stan Butler, (str) Daryl Brown, (7) Alan Dixon,
(6) P. Brown, (5) Mike Rowan, (4) N. Quarell, (3) R. Brown, (2) Ian Angow,(b), Damien Hickey

This season was one of the most successful since the war. The club nearly won the Country Premiership only to be beaten by the narrowest of margins-four points by Barwon Rowing Club. We had 14 wins and scored 62 point while Barwon had 13 wins and 66 points. Points were allocated per winning oar so they must have won an eights race to give them the edge. We also managed sixth placing on the Junior Premiership. The recruiting drive from a few years earlier was paying dividends and producing winning crews. We attended 18 regattas having success at Dimboola, Nagambie, Victorian Championships, Ballarat, Henley, Barwon, Colac, Mildura and Wentworth. The outstanding win for this season was the Victorian Country Championship eights rowed at the Victorian Championships on Lake Wendouree 18 March, 1967. Given the strength of the Geelong clubs and also the other country clubs this remains quite an achievement. The club also raced a lightweight eight at Scotch Mercantile Regatta. After only one training row together they raced and beat the fancied Mercantile crew by a canvas!

Much of the credit for the clubs excellent position was due to the work of Secretary Alan Dixon and Captain and Vice-captain,Daryl Brown and Mick Rowan. Frank Findlay once again took on the job of President and also was President and Secretary of the Ballarat Rowing Association simultaneously. During the year he was elected as a Life Member of the Rowing Association in recognition of all his years of service. He joined Ted Edwards as the only other Ballarat City member to be made a Life Member. The Annual report mentioned that eleven new members nominated this season among them Albie McGuire and his son Rob. Albie made a welcome return to the club as a coach and committee man and became the unofficial boat repair and maintenance man working alongside Otto Hauser and then eventually taking over as Otto retired.

The club also advertised for coxswains this year. Coxes were always difficult to find but we went from a shortage to be being overwhelmed with 10 coxes signing up. One of those was a very young Colin Angow. Little did he know then, that his association with the club would span the next 53 years and is still going. Cliff Restarick a former member and coxswain, returned to Ballarat this season after several years spent as a member of Mercantile where he steered many of their top crews. In fact he must have been a bit like Teddy Jones as he steered the Mercantile crews to victory this year at the Victorian Championships.

Financially the club were the surprise beneficiaries of a generous legacy from the estate of Mrs. Ivy Rattray. The lady was unknown by anyone at the club but she obviously liked rowing as she left a similar amount to each of the other clubs as well. The money was put towards the purchase of racing singlets .The collection of subscription fees continued to be an onerous task and they contributed very little to the ongoing running of the club. The hiring of the hall upstairs was the main source of income. There was still an amount of $13000 outstanding on the Treasury loan, the club having paid back over half the amount in ten years. It was proving to be a millstone around our necks making it impossible to make any financial headway.

At the start of the 1966-67 season in October, the club held a very successful Open Day with crews racing for trophies donated by Ted Edwards and Frank Findlay. After the racing the seventy members and guests attended the christening of the new pair THE LADIES’ AUXILIARY BCRC 1966.The new racing pair was purchased by the hardworking Ladies’ Auxiliary out funds they had raised. The Australian Champion pair Alan Dixon and Daryl Brown had raced in it. Unfortunately not long after it arrived at the club it was totally wrecked in a trailer accident coming back from Mildura Regatta. It was replaced by insurance and the bow of the first boat hung in the dressing room. It is still there today.

A tragic sight on the way back from Mildura and Wentworth 1967. Daryl Brown’s car suspended on its front wheels and most of the boats damaged. The new pair was beyond repair and had to be replaced.
Ballarat City boatshed 1967 with Mercantile eight just returning from winning the State Championship.  The jetty is showing signs of its age with a considerable dip in the side just past the cox!       
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