This year, the continuing economic depression that caused many men, young and old, to leave the city in search of work meant that all three rowing clubs had a quiet year. At Ballarat Regatta where traditionally Ballarat and City could count on home course wins, neither were able to score a in this year. TheContinue reading “1887”


In reviewing the year it was felt that the general depression in the Ballarat district had affected the club and all athletic institutions. Ballarat saw the departure of more young men in this twelve months than in any other since the discovery of gold. Despite losing many members, both old stalwarts and young prospects, theContinue reading “1886”


This was a watershed year for the club. A generation of rowers had passed through and the mantle of champion oarsman passed, from the likes of Zachariah Giles, to a new crop of younger men. On the administration side of things following on from the devastating resignation of Captain Cazaly came a tragedy occurred thatContinue reading “1885”


Early this year the club had considerable success at regattas winning six races including a Grand Challenge Cup. However towards the end of the year there would be a major change that would impact the club for the rest of the decade.Many long-time members of both the City club and the Ballarat Club retired orContinue reading “1884”


One of the racing highlights this season was at Ballarat Regatta. It was the first time that five eights had faced the starter in a Victorian regatta. Most courses could only have two or three crews across. Our Senior eight was beaten narrowly into second place at Ballarat and also Barwon. In each race theContinue reading “1883”


In this post I am going to diverge a little from the history of the club to an interesting discovery that actually occurred after I had published my book. It has to do with this handsome trophy from 1882. It is highly decorated and beautifully inscribed  “Draper’s Challenge Cup. Presented by Wm.Orrock Esq; 6th ofContinue reading “1882”


The members of the club took energetic steps to place the club on a satisfactory basis this year both in points of membership and facilities afforded to acquire skill in rowing. Some seventy new members joined the club and in order to accommodate such large numbers two new four-oared boats were ordered from Melbourne asContinue reading “1881”


In the ten years that the club had been operating it had really grown and prospered. The boatshed had been enlarged, the fleet of boats acquired, including two yachts, that was the equal of any club in Victoria. With Henry Richards Caselli as president, Daniel Brophy as treasurer and Peter Cazaly as captain there hadContinue reading “1880”


It is worth starting this year’s summary with a description of Ballarat Regatta, Monday March10th, where the club won four out of the ten races on the day. This included the Senior fours race for the inaugural Sunbury Cup. The crew stroked by Arthur Gibbs with J. Fitzgerald, F. Tregaskis and William Dawson with F.Continue reading “1879”


The office bearers this season were again Mr. Caselli, president: Mr Emerson Baylee, secretary: Mr.Daniel Brophy, treasurer: Mr Peter Cazaly, captain and Mr. W. L. Matthews his lieutenant. The committee comprised Messrs. W. Hogan, L. Clark, J. FitzGerald, L. Flegeltaub, W. Dawson, F. Baker, Arthur Gibbs, H. Oyston and O. Turnbull This was the bestContinue reading “1878”


I find it fascinating that no matter how well you think you know the facts of history, the more you research the more nuanced and closer to the historical reality you come. Even revising and revisiting old research can create new understanding and insight. Although I knew the facts of the 1870’s pretty well havingContinue reading “1877”


The club only recorded one win in 1876 .At the 1876 Ballarat regatta the crew of A.S. Brown, J.Fitzgerald, W.Crampton, Arthur Gibbs won the Senior gig race. Ballarat regatta this year was a combined rowing and sailing event, and there were more sailing events than rowing events. Subscriptions were raised in an effort to payContinue reading “1876”


City had the distinction of being one of the three crews to race in the first ever eight-oared race held in Australia, where we placed third. This race was held at the Melbourne Regatta 1875 and was won by the Civil Service crew with the Warehouse Rowing Club second. Both these clubs are long sinceContinue reading “1875”


The club added again to its fleet this season an eight-oared outrigger boat one of the first clubs in Victoria to have an eight, and an out-rigger sculling boat. The use of eight-oared boats didn’t really become commonplace at regattas until 1877 but this meant both for training and racing the club could now boatContinue reading “1874”


THE FIRST INTERCOLONIAL RACE During the 1970’s and 80’s the members of Ballarat City had no idea of our amazing history and no idea of the incredible achievements of the rowers of the 1870’s. Having lost 80 years of memories in the disastrous boatshed fire of 1950, even the older members only had memories goingContinue reading “1873”


The early 1872 Ballarat Regatta Committee, made up of representatives from both clubs, again organized the Ballarat Regatta to be held on Lake Wendouree again. It was decided to ask the Water Commission permission to enclose part of the reserve near the boathouses to erect a grandstand to improve conditions for spectators. This they dulyContinue reading “1872”


Not letting the grass grow under their feet the committee organised in December 1870 several new boats from Melbourne sent by Mr James Edwards for the approval of the club. They comprised one streak gig, three scullers boats, one bat-wing pair and two clinker four-oared gigs. The club obviously purchased at least some of theseContinue reading “1871”


In 1870 Lake Wendouree finally filled after 5 years of drought and such low water levels that only one of the 5 fledging rowing clubs-Alabama,Tay, Lubentia, Ariel and Ballarat- only the oldest Ballarat Rowing Club had survived. Ballarat had started as the Regatta Club in 1862 and in 1864 Robinson McLaren, the father of rowingContinue reading “THE BEGINNING 1870”

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