The highlight of this season was the hosting of the King’s Cup and National Regatta on Lake Wendouree. The Annual report stated:
” We are indeed fortunate in having as our home water the best 2000 metre course in Australia and full credit must be given to the Ballarat City Council for the interest and attention they have shown in the lake.” Mr. Francis Findlay was both president of the club and of the Ballarat Rowing Association and so played a lead role in the organising of the King’s Cup Regatta. Many members of the club and students from the local rowing schools volunteered their time as officials and carrying out the myriad tasks that running such a huge regatta entailed.
Graeme Angow was re-elected as Captain and continued to keep the club on track with training and racing. Messrs. Findlay, Hauser and Edwards continued to run the hall hiring and the club would have been considerably less financial without their efforts. It was still a struggle because there were more halls available for hire in Ballarat and their up to date facilities more appealing to the younger generation. Indeed veteran President Frank Findlay suggested that one option might be for the club’s to amalgamate and concentrate equipment, members and fundraising in one club. Membership remained constant however we did lose several good members who were called up for National Service. Their places being filled by the nomination of seven novices.
As far as racing and regattas went the club certainly didn’t set the world on fire this year. We attended eleven regattas with twenty-three crews and equal with last years tally-four wins.The Maiden pair of K. James and John Faulkiner with cox Peter Faulkiner won the double at Footscray and Barwon regattas while the maiden four of K. James, Andre Abele, Uldis Neilands and John Faulkiner with cox Daryl Calvert won the double at Mildura/Wentworth. This gave the club twelve points on both the Country and the Junior Premiership. The Simon Newcomb trophy this season was awarded to Glen Howlett.
Albie McGuire continued to assist with coaching and maintenance around the shed. Norm Angow transported boats to Dimboola and also Mildura Regattas yet again. For his sterling work Norm was awarded the first of three honorary memberships of the club. Under the supervision of the Captain, all boats were overhauled during the winter and twelve of the older oars modified to the modern type.
The club Open Day was a pleasant occasion with a good gathering of members and visitors watching the combination fours race for trophies donated by Messrs. Findlay and Edwards. The winning crew included Rob McGuire, P. Houlson and Damien Hickey. An enthusiastic group within the club started a boat and equipment fund by working in co-operation with a local dance. They raised $41.50 towards new equipment.
Secretary Alan Dixon closed his report with “The coming year is possibly the most important in the club since we commenced in 1870, as we will be 100 years old, which is something to be very proud of. We are proposing to hold various functions to suitably mark the occasion and trust that every member will give the preparation for these events their fullest support and make this historic season rowing and socially the most enjoyable in the club’s long history. The Centenary Celebrations will be covered in the next post as activities covered the 1970-1971 season.