2002 World Master’s Games

This season saw a marked increase in memberships, the majority being in the Masters category. It was great to see these members becoming involved not only in the sport but in the administration and maintenance of the club as well. The highlight of the season was having twenty Mater’s rowers from the club compete inContinue reading “2002 World Master’s Games”

2001 A rowing Odyssey

The committee this year was Danny Elliott, President; Kate Elliott and Belinda Bilney were co-secretaries; Norm Young ,Treasurer and Tim Wise ,Captain. Racing was strong this year particularly in Master’s events. This year our International Master’s Champions attended the FISA World Master’s Regatta in Montreal, Canada. Having conquered Europe they now headed to the CanadianContinue reading “2001 A rowing Odyssey”

2000 Sydney Olympic silver

The highlight for rowing in Australia was the holding of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Past and present members of the club were very proud and delighted to see Rachel Taylor achieve her sporting dream winning a silver medal in the Women’s coxless pairs with partner Kate Slatter. Rachel was originally introduced to rowingContinue reading “2000 Sydney Olympic silver”

1997 Rise of the Masters

This season will be remembered as the Masters era of rowing, with the return of several former members now keen to participate in the growing area of Master’s rowing. Two of these “born again” rowers who would have a great impact on the club over the next five years were Norm and Ron Young. AlsoContinue reading “1997 Rise of the Masters”

1994 AIS and VIS scholarships

The club again posted an excellent season with a total of 65 wins. Of these there were a record 8 Victorian Championships and Ballarat City was represented in four Australian Championships wins. Rachel Taylor, a graduate of the clubs’ first Talent Identification Program was awarded a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport. She racedContinue reading “1994 AIS and VIS scholarships”

1993 In memory of Otto Hauser

Amazingly Ballarat City posted another incredible season winning 70 races, including 5 Victorian Championships and 1 Australian Championship. With just eight men competing the club finished second on the men’s Champion Club Premiership with Corio Bay Rowing Club the premiers. We also placed third on the men’s Senior Premiership winning more Senior races this seasonContinue reading “1993 In memory of Otto Hauser”

1992 Two Australian Championships and Prime Ministerial Award

Ballarat City continued to forge ahead hosting Australia’s only regional Talent Identification Program. On a meagre budget (compared to programs in other states) but with extreme dedication and enthusiasm the program exceeded all expectations in its first year. The 14 recruits went from total non -rowers to seasoned competitors in ten months. Four participants leftContinue reading “1992 Two Australian Championships and Prime Ministerial Award”

1991 World Championships Vienna. Talent Id Program

With the World Championships at Barrington in November 1990, no sooner had they concluded than selection trials for the 1991 World Championships in Vienna commenced. Again committing an incredible amount of time, effort, energy and travel to various regattas Tim again earned selection in a Lightweight double scull with Sam Golding as his partner. DannyContinue reading “1991 World Championships Vienna. Talent Id Program”

1988 First Australian rep.

Ballarat City was once again “to the fore” in rowing activities finishing this season with the third National Championship win in three years. James McKee won the Champion Senior B Sculls of Australia taking our tally to four Australian Championships .The outstanding success of the club last season really galvanised the metropolitan clubs into actionContinue reading “1988 First Australian rep.”

1987 Achieving the dream!

3 Premierships, 3 Victorian Championships, 1 Australian Championship, 94 wins Unless you were there, you cannot begin to imagine what a year 1987 was. The season started in October 1986 and both the men and women of the club were poised to take on the rowing world not individually but as a club. None ofContinue reading “1987 Achieving the dream!”

1984 First Victorian rep

1 Victorian State sculler-2 VRA Women’s Premierships-3 Victorian Championships Last year we had many close second placings and if our crews had been able to convert them we would have had closer to forty wins. Captain Danny Elliott could see that crews just needed a bit more coaching, ironing out the minor faults that wouldContinue reading “1984 First Victorian rep”

1983 The Stars align

Several factors started the club on its upward trajectory this year. Colin Angow was elected President at the Annual Meeting in September 1982 and would lead the club for nearly 20 years. Having been a cox, rower, committee member and having lots of practical workshop skills he was an ideal President. He knew what wasContinue reading “1983 The Stars align”

1982 The Dynamic duo

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,Continue reading “1982 The Dynamic duo”

1979 Amalgamation. First Victorian sweep-oared Championship and 23 wins

This season saw the club record the highest number of wins ever with twenty-three in total. Danny Elliott also won the club’s first Victorian Championship in a sweep-oared boat winning the Lightweight Coxless pairs on the lake in a composite crew with Terry Poole of Corio Bay. Danny Elliott scored another eleven wins in LightweightContinue reading “1979 Amalgamation. First Victorian sweep-oared Championship and 23 wins”

1978 Quality not quantity

Mr. Alf Quick took on the role as president and Ralph Murphy was the secretary. There were only five committee meetings held this year well down on the sixteen or so that were usually held. The Annual Report was rather brief this year. Secretary Ralph Murphy was also doing the hall bookings and was heavilyContinue reading “1978 Quality not quantity”

1977 sculling success!

Life member Mr. Bob Angow took on the role of president this year with Rob McGuire, secretary and Alf Quick, treasurer. Rob McGuire resigned as secretary in October 1976 and Ralph Murphy took on the role. The Captain was Danny Elliott and the Begonia City Ladies’ captain was Tracey Kriz with Kate Wise continuing asContinue reading “1977 sculling success!”

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 putContinue reading “1976 The sculling era begins”

1975 100th Annual Report

The 100th Annual meeting was held on September 2nd 1975.The trophies presented were Most Improved Novice-Jim Burzacott, Most Successful Oarsman-Ron Taylor and Clubman of the Year-Danny Elliott. Graeme Angow was returned as president this season and Rob McGuire continued, as secretary. Mr. Alf Quick became treasurer after Mr. Bob Lawrie retired serving over twenty-five yearsContinue reading “1975 100th Annual Report”

1974 The adventure begins

The Annual Report this year was a combined one presented to the members of Ballarat City and Begonia City at the AGM in September. Ralph Murphy was returned as president this season and Rob McGuire continued, as secretary. Mr. Bob Lawrie entered his twenty-fifth year as treasurer. Bill Davies became Captain and Danny Elliott wasContinue reading “1974 The adventure begins”

1973 Novice influx

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 electedContinue reading “1973 Novice influx”

1970 Centenary

The highlight of this season was the hosting of the King’s Cup and National Regatta on Lake Wendouree. The Annual report stated: ” We are indeed fortunate in having as our home water the best 2000 metre course in Australia and full credit must be given to the Ballarat City Council for the interest andContinue reading “1970 Centenary”

1965 Out of the doldrums

The Annual Meeting was held at the boatshed on September 24th 1965 and the 90th Annual Report presented to the club.  Although Alan Dixon was Captain for most of the year at the Annual meeting he was elected to the Secretary’s job after Albert Harden stepped down. Daryl Brown took on the Captains role supportedContinue reading “1965 Out of the doldrums”

1964 Vale Teddy Jones

“I regret I have to think that 1963-64 to my club has been very trying in many ways, but, how happy I am to have been one of the team of loyal members who kept the club afloat,” Frank Findlay wrote in his President’s addendum this year after what had been a tough year allContinue reading “1964 Vale Teddy Jones”

1962 Kings Cup Regatta and first National Regatta held on Lake Wendouree

Mr. Francis E. Findlay continued as president and was also the president of the Ballarat Rowing Association with Mr. Albert Harden the secretary. This meant a busy year for Frank and the club as the King’s Cup Regatta was held on Lake Wendouree in March and the inaugural National Championship were held in April, havingContinue reading “1962 Kings Cup Regatta and first National Regatta held on Lake Wendouree”


After nearly four years back in our own home the club began again to revive its rowing fortunes. Again the catalyst to this resurgence lay with one or two key oarsmen like Alan Dixon and Bob Coutts and coach Mr. Pat Harrison who reinvigorated training. The Lake was a hive of activity this season withContinue reading “1961”

1960 The invincible four

This season proved to be one of the most successful for some time. The club attended 21 regattas over the summer and winter series with 85 crews. The wins were mainly achieved by one crew. The Maiden four of Neville Kerr, Michael Walsh, Alan Dixon and Bob Coutts coached by Pat Harrison started the seasonContinue reading “1960 The invincible four”


Membership was on the increase this year with nearly seventy members. Many of these were novice rowers and this year saw several novice crews start to make their mark. Constable Pat Harrison, who was stationed in Ballarat, joined the club this year as an Honorary member and he started regular winter training with the clubContinue reading “1959”

1958 A very good year!

This year the boatshed was edging nearer to completion. Members had lined and painted the inside of the shed upstairs and down. The outside had been painted upstairs but still had to have the coat of render applied downstairs. Eight long years of long, and a lot of time and energy by a core groupContinue reading “1958 A very good year!”

1957 Are we there yet?

The Annual Report of 1957 opened with: “What a wonderful year for this club and rowing in general the past season was. Firstly, we had here on our Lake the rowing and canoeing events of the XVI Olympiad which proved to be an outstanding success, with Australia represented in every rowing event for the firstContinue reading “1957 Are we there yet?”

1954 Era of the Lightweights

The club was now into its fourth year without a home. While the Reconstruction account was growing and had reached 900 pounds and some insurance had been collected there was still a considerable shortfall. Membership was maintained and regatta wins were up again this year, mainly in the lightweight class, which put us in thirdContinue reading “1954 Era of the Lightweights”

1953 The remarkable Mr.Findlay

This year in the annual Report, Ted Edwards, Jack Lawrie and Teddy Jones all joined Otto Hauser as Life Members. Between them they had contributed about 130 years of service to the club. Otto and  Teddy were still coaching crews  and attending meetings and working as hard as ever for the club.The club still homeless,Continue reading “1953 The remarkable Mr.Findlay”

1952 Progressing slowly

The Annual meeting was again held at the Anglers Lodge on Wednesday September 24th..Just prior to the Annual meeting a significant event in the re-building of the shed took place. On the 10th of August 1952 the Mayor of Ballarat, Councilor Bill Webb, laid the foundation stone for the new club house. This stone wasContinue reading “1952 Progressing slowly”

1951 Forging ahead.

Almost immediately after the fire the club began planning to rebuild. We had lost the building and the boats but they could be replaced albeit not immediately. What could never be replaced were the trophies, photographs and memorabilia that had been accumulated over 80 years. Bob Lawrie told me when I interviewed him,that he andContinue reading “1951 Forging ahead.”


The 75th Annual Meeting of 1950 was held on September 29th at the boathouse. It was to be the last Annual Meeting ever held in that shed. Just a month later, the boatshed of which the club was so proud of and had worked so hard to build, was gone in one terrible night. NothingContinue reading “1950 DISASTER!”


Ted Edwards continued as president this year and Dave McCallum was secretary until he resigned in February 1949 due to work commitments and Mr. Cliff McCahon took on the position for the remainder of the season. Captain and coach of most of the regatta crews this season was Mr. Stan Wilton and Robert (Bob) LawrieContinue reading “1949”

1948 Henley Champions

From a rowing perspective the 1947-48 season was excellent. The club recorded its first ever win at Henley Regatta in November 1947. This was in the Maiden fours event with the crew of Albie McGuire, Dave McCallum, Max Harris and Frank Beattie. The inimitable Johnny Morris was the cox and club stalwart Otto Hauser theContinue reading “1948 Henley Champions”

1947 Brave new world

With Mr. Bunce sadly passing away at the end of 1946, Ted Edwards stepped up to the President’s job. He had filled many roles on committee and now he had the task of steering the club through the difficult aftermath of war. Warwick Ehms was Captain for the second part of the season and LyleContinue reading “1947 Brave new world”

1945 Honour Roll WW2

Ninety members of the Ballarat City Rowing Club enlisted for World War 2 and of those 8 men were killed serving their country. Once again war had decimated the ranks of the rowing club and it would take many years to recover. The club lost its original Honour boards in the boatshed fire of 1950.Continue reading “1945 Honour Roll WW2”


With the shed still closed and no rowing happening again in 1944, I have chosen to include the memories of the 1930’s from Robert (Bob) Lawrie. Bob was the son of Jack Lawrie and Jack was a member from the early 1920’s serving on the committee in as secretary for many years in the 1930’sContinue reading “1944”

1943 Memories of the 40’s

Despite the decision to close the boathouse, a committee was elected to oversee affairs of the club and act in a caretaker role. Mr. Bunce now entered his thirteenth term as president. The vice-presidents were the same as last season, Messrs. C. N. Tulloch, G. Vickery, Jack Lawrie, J. McLeish,Ted Edwards and T. J. Stevens,Continue reading “1943 Memories of the 40’s”

1942 Lockdown

The office bearers for this season were again Mr. C. H. Bunce as president. In nominating him Mr. T. C. Edwards said that he had done a wonderful job and that he was absolutely indispensable. Vice-presidents were Messrs. C. N. Tulloch, G. Vickery, Jack Lawrie, J. McLeish, Joe Bickart, Ted Edwards and T. J. Stevens.Continue reading “1942 Lockdown”


At the club’s 70th annual meeting in early October 1941 Mr. C. H. Bunce again reiterated ‘to keep the flag flying till the members serving with the forces came back is the object of the committee.’ The club was most fortunate in having an outstanding set of executive officers who managed the club’s affairs soContinue reading “1941”

1940 World War 2 impacts

The 69th Annual Meeting was held on the fifth of September. Mr. C. H. Bunce stated that with the co-operation of all members and with an excess of assets over liabilities of 4466 pounds, rowing could be kept alive. Despite increasing difficulties the club’s position was sound. Membership had increased over the last season andContinue reading “1940 World War 2 impacts”

1939 Edge of the precipice

After last season’s single win, the club was reinvigorated and motivated to produce better results at regattas. Several good lightweight crews emerged this season and in most cases were stroked by Warwick Ehms. Warwick’s father, Carl, had been a successful oarsman in the early 1900’s and Warwick and later his brother Alan followed the familyContinue reading “1939 Edge of the precipice”

1937 Empire Games selection

Socially and financially the club continued on the up and up. On the rowing side things were not advancing so pleasingly. The highlight of the season was the performance of the pair of W.Blaikie and R.Aley who finished second to Melbourne University in the Champion Pairs of Victoria, improving one place from their third ofContinue reading “1937 Empire Games selection”

1936 Boat bonanza!

The Social Committee this year purchased five new boats. Never before or since has the club been in the position to buy so many boats to add to the existing fleet. They bought a practice eight, two practice fours and two practice sculls that would be invaluable in bringing novice rowers up to scratch. WithContinue reading “1936 Boat bonanza!”


Regatta racing was not as spectacular with the club only attending five regattas and finishing in eleventh place on the Junior premiership with eight points. We attended Henley, Ballarat Novice Regatta at thee end of 1934 and the Colac, Barwon and Ballarat Regattas. The Maiden eight of S.Hillman, Stan Wilton, K.Capp, A.Loughton, F.Moon, Charlie Pennant,Continue reading “1935”

1934 Coat of Arms

The regattas attended this season were Henley, Ballarat Novice Regatta, Colac, Upper Yarra, Footscray, Barwon and Ballarat. The club’s successes came at Barwon and Ballarat where the lightweight four of Gordon Whitworth, S. Hillman, J. Allen, B. Franks and J. Hopwood cox took out the coveted double. Mr.T.J. Stevens coached the crew. At Ballarat RegattaContinue reading “1934 Coat of Arms”

1932 A new boatshed at last!

At the beginning of the 1931-32 season a sub-committee was formed to investigate how the long held dream of building a new shed could be realized. The committee of nine worked tirelessly to devise a scheme, which was presented to the members. This scheme was accepted and the firm of Clegg, Morrow and Cameron wereContinue reading “1932 A new boatshed at last!”

1931 Diamond Jubilee

The Diamond Jubilee of the club was celebrated this season and the club put in a concerted effort to increase the number of regatta successes in this milestone year. To this end the club was represented at every regatta, which involved considerable expense, and sacrifice but the effort paid off. The club improved from 14thContinue reading “1931 Diamond Jubilee”

1930 The Great Depression

The effects of the Great Depression overshadowed the 1930’s. In October 1929 Wall Street collapsed with stocks and shares plummeting.  This event ricocheted around the world. Australia was not immune to the bitter wind of poverty brought about by high unemployment and rampant inflation. By 1932 one-third of the Australian workforce was unemployed. Young singleContinue reading “1930 The Great Depression”


The club recorded excellent results at regattas this season, again placing them third on the junior premiership. This would have been a second place except for a disqualification of one of our crews at VRA Regatta. The club scored nine wins in total with the highlight being the success in the Maiden eights at BallaratContinue reading “1928”

1927 Most successful of the 20’s

Mr. Alf Dawson was President this year and Dr. Champion joined the Vice-Presidents group which included Mr.H.Bunce, Joe Bickart, Jas Tulloch, George Vickery and Andrew Alipius O’Dea. Captain of the shed this year was N.Hullick and Carl Ehms was the Vice-Captain. Mr.A.Browne was Secretary and Len Johnson the Treasurer. Both Mr.Charles Suffren, who had beenContinue reading “1927 Most successful of the 20’s”


 It was a very busy year for regatta racing and the first time in many years there was only one trial four held for the season due to the number of regattas attended and the time taken up with training. T. J.Steven’s crew won the Trial fours with J.Stoddart, J. Woods and J. Harrington. E.Continue reading “1925”

1924 Regatta success

The Annual meeting this season was held at the Wattle Tearooms in Lydiard Street on Saturday, September 12th. The president was Dr. E.Champion. This season continued the success of the previous season with the club scoring seven wins and finishing in fourth place on the VRA Junior Premiership. Financially the club finished the year withContinue reading “1924 Regatta success”

1923 On the way back

Of the Annual meeting 1923 the Star newspaper reported that:  “A large number of oarsmen gathered at the City Hall on Saturday night on the occasion of the 52nd Annual meeting of the Ballarat City Rowing Club. The club flag was draped at the head of the room in which an attractive repast was providedContinue reading “1923 On the way back”


This season saw the return of champion rower and athlete, Charles Suffren to the Ballarat City fold. Charles had learnt his rowing at City and then transferred to Ballarat Rowing Club where he won numerous championships. Under his tutelage there was a marked improvement in the club’s regatta racing. For the season the club hadContinue reading “1922”


The 50th Annual meeting was held at Craig’s Hotel. The president was Mr. A. W. Bennett. At this meeting Mr. E. Balhausen offered to the club a copy of the photo of the Champion Four from the 1870’s of A. Gibbs, J. Fitzgerald, E. Tregaskis, and W. D. Dawson with F. Dawson coxswain. Their timeContinue reading “1921”


Finally the war was over. The boys were at last coming home. Life could begin to return to normal. Sadly the world would never be the same and many of the boys did not return. Of those that did return many would never be the same again either. “With the signing of the armistice andContinue reading “1919”

1918 Return to rowing

A meeting was held on Saturday February 9th, 1918 to restart the activities of the club after the war . This notice appeared in the meetings column of the Ballarat Star: BALLARAT CITY ROWING CLUB A meeting of members and intending members of the above club will be held at the boatshed, Wendouree Parade, onContinue reading “1918 Return to rowing”


Forty five names appear on the list of Ballarat City members who enlisted for World War One. There should be many more, as many members previous to 1914 had moved away from Ballarat and enlisted elsewhere or they were older men who were no longer active members of the club when they enlisted. One suchContinue reading “1917”

1916 The growing toll

By the middle of 11916 all three rowing clubs had sent almost all their young men to the Front. Essentially there were only the veterans and young boys left. By October 1916 for example seventy one men had enlisted from Wendouree Rowing Club alone. Ballarat City Rowing Club was in the hands of a caretakerContinue reading “1916 The growing toll”

1915 Winds of War

As I write the blog tonight, Victoria is entering 6 weeks of lockdown because of COVID 19. The boatshed will be shut for another six weeks. In 1915 the club was winding down too but for a very different reason. The young and not so young oarsmen were signing up to fight overseas. Everyone thoughtContinue reading “1915 Winds of War”

1914 Calm before the Storm

“Under ordinary circumstances, Lake Wendouree, with its surroundings, is generally conceded to be a place of rare attractiveness: but on Saturday, with View Point, boatshed balconies, and all other commanding positions occupied by seasonally attired gatherings, and the expanse of water flecked with craft of various descriptions, the spectacle was at once inspiring and interesting.Continue reading “1914 Calm before the Storm”


The 44th Annual Meeting was held at Newtons Hotel with the President Lieut.Colonel A.W.Bennett in the chair. He reported that the club had again done well in all spheres of operation. Particularly pleasing was the increase in the building fund to 330 pounds. The lady supporters of the club had contributed this year by runningContinue reading “1913”


In the photo you can clearly see View Point and a little island called Gill’s Island that was later removed during the 1916 drought. You can also see at the top of the photo the thin black line that is the remains of the embankment that ran from McArthur Street across to the Botanical Gardens.Continue reading “1912”


The club continued its successful resurgence starting in 1911 and continuing into 1912. During 1911-12 season the club competed in more regattas than ever before and subsequently placed second on the Victorian Premiership of 1912. The very strong Melbourne Rowing Club were premiers. Much of the club’s success was due to Robert Commons who featuredContinue reading “1911”

1910 Resurgence

1910 was a pivotal year for the club. At last the club began to emerge from the ‘slump’ of the last five or six years. The first twenty years of the club had been enormously successful in all aspects of operation. The club had a membership roll of 120.We were very successful at regattas withContinue reading “1910 Resurgence”


The Annual report of 1909 stated that the club had struggled for existence during the past few seasons but that a healthy tone characterised this meeting, which was held at Newton’s Hotel with the president Mr Jas Tulloch in the chair. The report went on to say that the club had been fairly successful inContinue reading “1909”


Mr.E.Shew retired as President at 1908 Annual Meeting. Mr. Jas Tulloch was again elected  as President and Alf Dawson was Captain for the 1908-09 season. A Social evening was held following the Annual Meeting where Dr. Champion proposed a toast to former president Mr. E. Shew who was departing Ballarat. In it he stated thatContinue reading “1908”


1907 THE VALUE OF MEMBERSHIP ‘Throughout the season perfect discipline and harmony has been a prominent feature and our work (that of the committee) has been of a very pleasing nature. Finally we urge upon all the necessity of paying strict attention to training and we feel that the incoming year will be a prosperousContinue reading “1907”


The 37th Annual Meeting of the club was held at the Unicorn Hotel on September 4th 1906. The president Dr. Champion was unable to attend so Mr Graham Coulter, the club Captain, was elected to the chair. The season got off to a slow start with Wendouree and Ballarat both sending crews to Henley RegattaContinue reading “1906”


The Annual meeting of 1905 was held at Carlyon’s Hotel with the president Mr. M. Honan in the chair. In the previous seasons the club had been less successful than it would like in terms of regatta wins. The committee realised that to improve the club was in urgent need of a capable coach. ToContinue reading “1905”


During the early 1900’s both the older rowing clubs of Ballarat went through a downturn of memberships and regatta wins. Wendouree Rowing Club however, was only 20 years old in 1904 having been formed in 1884. The younger rowing club was enjoying far more on water success. All three clubs were also finding it difficultContinue reading “1904”


The 35th Annual meeting of the club at the Unicorn Hotel had a large attendance of members. Mr. E. Shew the president occupied the chair. It was reported that the season had been one of strenuous effort. The club was represented at four regattas but had been unable to bring home a regatta cup. WeContinue reading “1903”


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