2011 The slow return

Committee 2010-2011 President: Danny Elliott, Secretary: Kate Elliott, Treasurer: Norm Young, Captain of Boats: Ron Young, Committee: Tim Wise, Belinda Bilney,Wayne Lyle, Barry Lyle, Rower: Jordan O’Keefe, Trustee: Mr. Albie McGuire.

These were the people who kept the club going during the six long years of drought. They were there at the beginning and they stayed the course until the end. It wasn’t quite over yet as the rowing course still needed to be finished and the buoys laid. And of course there was a membership to rebuild. But they had succeeded in honouring the club members of the past, echoing their tenaciousness, hard work and determination and bought it through in better condition than ever. The building had been renovated from top to bottom-everything had been done new roof, painting, re-rendering, new jetty-ready for the next 50 years! A couple of other members had contributed early on, but the core group was the one that carried the club across the line. Without their commitment and dedication there would have been no club left. There are no adequate words to express the club’s gratitude to those members who stuck by it and steered it through the toughest time in its history so that it could again be a presence on the Lake. We finally launched our “ new” quad on the Lake after our 140th celebration in November 2010. There are some pictures of this momentous occasion showing the clumps of weed that still made rowing difficult.

At last year’s  Annual Meeting we welcomed the return of water to the lake after 6 long years of drought. Mention was made then of the dredging that had started and was progressing at a snail’s pace and of the perennial weed problem. Both the dredging and the weed have been ongoing impediments to aquatic sports getting back on the lake. It was only in the September 2011 that the weed was sufficiently cut to allow reasonable training on the Lake. As for the dredging? Possibly a group of kindergarten children armed with teaspoons could have made greater progress. It has been one deadline after another. Two more dredges have been bought into action and despite over 12 months of work the completion date is still set down for late January 2012!! This was not Sydney Harbor but a very small section of Lake Wendouree.

This exerpt was taken from the City of Ballarat updates for October:

“Dredges continue to work on the Lake and work is progressing well. If current production rates are maintained and projected forward, dredging will be completed early next year. Plans are well advanced for installing the rowing lane ropes and other infrastructure when the dredging is completed, ready for rowing competition. Rowing crews are conducting training on an adjacent course until the dredging is complete.” This was Council speak for “We have no idea!”

The first totally inadequate weed cutter hired by the Council to remove the blanket of weed. It failed dismally!

Members are filtering back to training and we look forward to seeing more old faces and perhaps some new ones becoming active around the shed again. Our sole rower Jordan O “Keefe was runner up in Rowing Victoria’s awards for the B grade male rower of the Year. Jordan has spent the last six years flying the flag for Ballarat City, going up and down to Melbourne to train and wearing his BCRC zootie anytime he can at regattas. Rumour has it that he actually wore his Ballarat City zootie under his Footscray one! We hoped that the return of the water would  mean he could again call the club home.

A set of  four new oars was purchased for the club early in the year. They are lightweight and have adjustable handles and should be very useful for both men and women’s crews.

We were fortunate to gain a low interest heritage loan to replace the roof of the shed. The roof has been quietly rusting away and despite our best efforts we had been unable to find a contractor who would quote us on the work. Thankfully Jeff Horgan of Interline Roofing not only came up to the shed but did a thorough evaluation and costing plan for the entire roof. With the quote secured, Kate Elliott put in a submission to Council and that was approved in September. We are still working on obtaining a bank guarantee to finalise the loan and have that amount paid to us. A deposit of half the cost of the roof replacement  has already been made and work started in October. Lake Physiotherapy are contributed to having upgraded insulation installed and will also be completing some works on renovating the kitchen area. So by December time the boatshed was sporting a new roof that will take us through the next 100 years.

The shed before the roof was replaced showing a full Lake at last!
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