Graeme Angow was President this year which would be his final year. At the end of 1982 at the annual Meeting, Colin Angow would take on the role for the 1982-83 season, a role he would fill for 18 years in in so doing would become our longest serving President. Kate Elliott was again secretary, Jenny Hyatt treasurer and Danny Elliott, Captain. We had several new members that would all go on to contribute greatly to the club. Kathy Lloyd started as a Novice this year and Bernie Wise joined her four siblings as a cox to make it 5 Wises in the club.
Our small but active band of rowers recorded twenty wins for the 81-82 season with the highlight being the ladies’ first win in Elite (Senior) level rowing. In the ten short years since women had started at the club they had usually contributed about half the wins each season, had won Victorian Open and Country Championships and had contributed much to the ongoing viability of the club. This good performance this year also meant that the club finished just eight points off first place on the Women’s Country Premiership.
The crew of Kate Elliott, Andrea Kriz, Joanne Butler and Di Whittle won the first Elite four at Essendon Regatta. Danny Elliott and Colin Angow teamed up this season to row a pair and broke a twelve-year drought at the club by winning a bracket of five consecutive maiden pairs. At this time races were “bracketed” together and if you won one race at novice level in a bracket in the next bracket you would have to row maiden. To compete and win a bracket of five was a great achievement. Kate Elliott also won 6 sculls in Senior A and Handicap sculls. Joanne Butler and Di Whittle,who had joined as novice rowers from Ballarat High School,as well as being part of the crew for the Elite fours, also won two Senior B pair races and placed second in the Victorian Champion Senior B pairs. At the last regatta of the season, new recruits Kathy Lloyd and Alison McKee won their first Novice pair.
The club purchased from Melbourne Grammar School a second hand racing eight as we did not have a competitive eight and with our men’s membership increasing it was looking likely that we may be able to boat an eight. We certainly couldn’t afford a new one at $15,000 ,so at $500 this one was a bargain. We collected the eight after one Henley Regatta and not having space on our trailer, tied it on to Wendouree/Ballarat’s trailer for the ride home. Unfortunately the driver of the Wendouree/Ballarat trailer swung a little too severely when leaving the boatsheds at the Yarra and a pole created a section our previously un-sectionned eight. This was close to a tragedy as the quote on repairing the damage was some $2000-which we simply could not afford. Fortunately Colin Angow undertook to repair the boat and many hours of time, glue and ingenuity went in to making it rowable. It was the best value for money $7.21 that the club ever spent and tragedy was averted. Colin really deserved the Clubman of the Year award for that alone! Colin and Danny also spent considerable time and effort overhauling the practice four to make it more competitive for the novice rowers. The two tub pairs, Norm Angow and City of Ballarat were sent down to Jeff Sykes in Geelong for refurbishment. The eight Sykes ladies’ oars were also sanded and varnished during Tuesday night winter working bees. So with most members training seven days a week, fundraising, maintaining boats and building and somehow working for a living there was precious little time for anything else. The rowing club was literally their lives and most of their waking hours, when not working, we spent all our time rowing. Many times it was jokingly said that all we needed to do was to put our beds upstairs in the hall and we wouldn’t need to go home at all!
At BRA Open Day the club again won three events. Colin Angow and Simon O’Brien won Novice pairs; Di Whittle, Jo Butler, Carolyn Clark and Denise Jones won the womens’ four and Simon O’Brien and Jo Butler were in the winning mixed four. Ballarat City’s Open day was very successful with thirty oarsmen and women competing in mixed fours and men’s and women’s pairs. A barbecue lunch was enjoyed by all at the conclusion of racing.
Trophies presented this year were Most Improved Novice, Kathy Lloyd; Clubman of the Year, Colin Angow and Di Whittle and Most Successful was Kate Elliott.
There were long and protracted discussions on hiring the hall as the Greek Association had been banned for once again leaving the hall in a disgraceful state. Up until this year we hadn’t had a bond or any formal agreement. So after many discussion at Committee meetings we came up with a hall hire agreement and a minimum cleaning charge so that if hirers didn’t want to clean up after themselves they had to pay a reasonable sum for the club to do it. We also started collecting payment in advance as it had been very difficult to get different groups to pay promptly.Alf Quick, our Vice-president looked after the bookings. Our first Ballarat City windcheaters were printed this year with the club crest in white on a navy windcheater. From memory they cost about $15 and we raised money for the club with the sale of these. They were very good value, as Danny Elliott is still wearing his!
One of the old characters around the club , Alf Bannister ,passed away this year. Alf had rowed back in the ‘30’s and remembered “old Harry Bunce” the president at that time and the shed that burnt down in the ‘50’s.He had lots of stories to tell and used to enjoy going up to the club and fishing through a hole in the locker room floor. He was the only fisherman to regularly enjoy a meal of Lake trout or redfin.