LADIES OF BCRC 1930’s and 40’s

Right through the early 1930’s when the Depression was really tightening its grip, the amazing Social Committee managed to pull off the achievement of the century. They raised the money necessary to finally build a new boat shed. In 1933 it was completed and in the photograph of the Social committee there are 52 men and women who did the un- doable and achieved the dream that had been held by the club for 60 years. The tragedy of the moment was that all this effort and the building of this fine federation shed would all be reduced to nothing in 17 short years.

Once the building of the shed had been achieved the ladies did not rest on their laurels. Indeed in the following year it was only due to their sterling efforts that the club was able to meet its financial obligations. In 1934 the Ladies Committee was separately constituted from the Social Club and they raised 70 pounds for the club. Mrs.Norm Wood was the president. The year later, thanks to the efforts of the Social Club and The Ladies Committee, the club not only paid off its debts but finished the year with a credit balance of 102 pounds.

The Ballarat City Rowing Club Social Committee, 1932 sitting proudly on the jetty of the brand new shed.

In the 1940’s women also became involved in the club through the sports of badminton and table tennis. With the boatshed being used as venues for these sports and the club having members participating, wives and friends again were associated with the club by playing on representative teams. In 1942 the Ballarat City Rowing Club badminton team were premiers and club members Warwick Ehms, Jack Huges, Jack Long and Ted Allen were joined by Mavis Rapkins,Teddy Hanrahan, Joyce and Em Coad to represent the club.

1942 Ballarat Badminton premiers-Ballarat City Rowing Club.

By the 1940’s especially after the war, social and sporting mores were changing again. When the rowing club went away to a regatta, a bus would be hired and wives and girlfriends would be invited along. Various social outings were organized like the one in 1947 to the Dandenong’s and members and partners would go along for the weekend. Women were becoming more visible and more involved around the club and in club activities but still only those of a social nature. There was still no suggestion though of women actually rowing.

1947 BCRC Social Club excursion to the Dandenongs.
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