This year’s Annual General meeting was a combined effort of the men’s and women’s clubs. The Annual report contains the two separate reports even though essentially we were one club using the same boats, same coaches and same boatshed! Ralph Murphy was elected President this year after serving as secretary and Rob McGuire was elected to the Secretary’s job. Bob Lawrie had easily become our longest serving officer by notching up 24 years. He ran a tight ship (no pun intended) and managed to balance the books and keep boats on the water even with the difficulty of raising funds. Of course he would not have been able to keep the costs down as he did if it weren’t for the work of Otto Hauser and Albie McGuire repairing and maintaining the equipment and Norm and Bob Angow who were constantly seeing to any and all the jobs that needed doing around the club. The Angow duo were the best club members we never had. They never actually had a membership other than an Honorary one, they never rowed themselves but because the Angow family was involved, they generously gave of their time and their expertise to assist the club. They don’t make them like that any more!
Graeme Angow continued as Captain and presided over a successful season for the club with 26 new novice nominating we finally had a chance of putting winning crews together. The only resignation this year was Colin Angow who relocated to Canberra for employment. This along with the 12-16 Begonia City girls meant the biggest increase in membership for many years.The Begonia City Ladies regatta was held in conjunction with Open Day saw over one hundred members, family and friends participate. Following the racing, three new boats were christened. The racing four ordered last season was christened the ALBIE MCGUIRE, the tub pair the CITY OF BALLARAT and the racing pair the DARYL BROWN in memory of Daryl who had been so tragically killed. These boats certainly assisted the club to become more competitive and to cater for more members. The rest of the fleet was repaired and refurbished and re-varnished by a small band of workers-Alf Bannister, Albie McGuire, Graeme Angow and Danny Elliott under the guidance of the now legendary Otto Hauser. As the Captain said in his report “With the increased activity the fleet stood up quite well. If anything did go wrong it was soon put right by Albie McGuire and Otto Hauser.If it were not for their skill the fleet would have collapsed long ago.”
Norm and Bob Angow having completed the jetty last season moved onto installing heating in the hall. This would increase the hall’s appeal to potential hirers during the usually quiet winter months. Bob and son Graeme were also instrumental in designing and building the club trailer. City was one of the first clubs to have a substantial trailer on which to take boats to regattas. This trailer went all over Australia including to Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. It served the club well for over twenty years. It was big and heavy and but it was designed to last. It used to be kept in the third bay of the boat shed which meant not much room either side when you needed to get boats out. It was also very heavy when loaded and pushing it back into the shed after boat loading was a 5 or 6 person job that was usually performed by 2!
At the BRA Novice Regatta the club started the season with a good win in the Novice pairs with Danny Elliott and Michael Salter and a close second in the Novice fours. Then we collected two Novice four wins with Dennis Circovich, Paul Duggan, Michael Salter and Danny Elliott at Yarrawonga and Rutherglen. A third Novice four was won by Bill Davies, P.Gursansky, Daryl Calvert and Kevin Antonio. Paul Duggan and Dennis Circovitch won a Novice pair at Footscray. Begonia City Ladies had a winning Maiden pair with J.Trevena and Margaret Young at Preston Regatta. Graeme Angow, Albie McGuire, Ralph Murphy, Alan and Phil Dixon and Kevin O’Brien did coaching this season. Coxswains were Bryce Rayworth, Phillip and Mark Elliott, Steven Hesse and Max Young. Norm Angow loaned his motorboat to assist with coaching and also assisted with transporting boats and crews to regattas. A Rowathon was again held in March in which 60 members participated. St.Paul’s Technical College had rowing program hosted by the club in June.
NOTE:The wooden pair THE CITY OF BALLARAT was bought by Begonia City Ladies Rowing Club in 1973. In 1972 the Mayor and Mayoress Cr. and Mrs. Chisholm hosted a fundraiser at the Townhall for the new club. The girls took people for tours of the Townhall and supplied a supper. They managed to raise close to $300 and were overwhelmed by the interest. The boat served the club well for many years until the Novice pairs event was no longer held and tub boats gave way to racing boats for Novice crews-a retrograde step in my opinion! The boat still was much used for teaching beginners and was still in use in 2016 when it was sold to be a roof decoration in the Lakeside Cafe at Daylesford.