1976 The sculling era begins

The president for this season was Graeme Angow with secretary Rob McGuire and treasurer Alf Quick. Daryl Calvert was elected captain with Paul Gursanscky, vice-captain. Note was made in the annual report that the lack of an active Captain severely affected operations of the club. Unfortunately the elected captain Daryl Calvert was unable to put in the time that the role required and many areas such as the coaching of novices and boating crews for regattas suffered as a consequence. There was no Captain’s report for this year. Membership after increasing most satisfactorily for the last few seasons declined this year with only four new members nominating. Most of the original members of Begonia City had now departed and the new committee which was elected in September 1975 was Kate Wise was secretary, and Tracy Kriz ,the captain.

Mr. Ted Edwards retired from the club this year having given over fifty-four years of unstinting service to the club. He was presented with an engraved tray and he retired to the Gold Coast were he could take a very well earned rest. “T. C.” as he was known was one of the last gentlemen of the old school. He had given so much time, energy and loyalty to the club it was hard to imagine the place without him. To give you some idea of the length of time and his contribution to the club, Life member Danny Elliott still has six years to go at the club just to equal T.C.’s record! Three long serving members were awarded life membership of the club this year. They were Albie McGuire, Bob Angow and Ralph Murphy.

The fleet had been updated and those boats that were beginning to show their age had been thoroughly and skilfully refurbished by the merry band of maintenance men during winter working bees.Otto Hauser, Albie McGuire, Alf Bannister and Danny Elliott fronted up week after week in the freezing Ballarat winter in the un-heated boats shed to sand, repair and varnish boats and oars.

Junior sculls Horsham and Ballarat 1976 Danny Elliott

The club was quite successful at regattas this year scoring our first successes again at BRA Open day with Neville Collins in a Novice scull. Danny Elliott after months of training entered his first race at Dimboola and Horsham. He had to start racing in Junior as there were very few or no Novice or Maiden sculls. He didn’t win his first race at Dimboola but on the next day at Horsham Regatta, which was rowed on Lake Natimuk, he turned the tables on his opponent from the previous day and won his first race. He also won the Junior scull at Ballarat Regatta Regatta on March 6. The Begonia City Ladies crew of Kate Wise, Margaret Elliott, Kathy Hayes and Andrea Kriz, coached by Danny Elliott,won the Senior B fours also at Ballarat. The classes of rowing were changed this year and Maiden races became Senior B. A young Peter Antonie also raced in an MUBC lightweight Maiden four which they won.

At the club Open Day there were scratch fours and mixed fours raced for trophies presented by the committee. Alan Dixon, P. Brown, Bill Davies and Daryl Calvert won the scratch fours and the crew of Ron Taylor, Mick Malone, Kathy Hayes and Kate Wise won the mixed fours. The Social committee was operating successfully and catered at the Championship Regatta, Ballarat Regatta and the Twilight regatta. The money raised by these efforts went towards purchasing two second-hand tub four. The club purchased three altogether and although long past their competitive best they made the task of boating novice crews much easier. One of the older boats the STAN WILTON was disposed of to Beaufort High School with the proviso that the bow be returned to the club when the boat was no longer useful.

A team led by Bob Angow repainted the shed and office and installed new doors in the foyer. Ralph Murphy took over the job of promoting and hiring the hall. Most Improved Novice was Margaret Elliott and Danny Elliott was the Most Successful Oarsman for the first time.

Senior B four pulling away from the presentation after the race. We look a bit bemused as our prize for winning was NOT a silver trophy like the men, but a print of flowers on silk in a cheap metal frame! Unfortunately it took a few years for the organizers of regattas to realize that most women did NOT want a cup and saucer or a vase for winning. We went out the next day and bought ourselves a proper trophy.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the late John Morcom who was originally a member of Ballarat Rowing Club and later Wendouree Ballarat RC when they amalgamated in 1975. He was secretary of Ballarat Rowing Association and Ballarat Regatta from the 1960’s until 2000. He had a complete set of Ballarat Regatta programs from his time as Regatta Secretary. In it are all the crews and more importantly all the wins and often the winning margins hand written in the program by John. As a record of rowing in Ballarat for over forty years it is an invaluable resource. He gave me all his programs when I was researching for my book on the history of Ballarat Regatta.

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