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History of Corowa Rowing Club

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2. 1928-1969

In the early twenties participation by the club was reported to be spasmodic until 1928 when DC Brown began his record 30 years of Presidency.

On the 13 September 1928 the club was reformed. The proprietor of the Corowa Free Press (AC Leslie) chaired the meeting and DC Brown was elected president. This period included the Second World War with R Constantine as Secretary and D. Oswald as Captain. This re-organisation paid dividends as a successful period followed.

The club was lent a gig from Lake Moodemere from October 1928 which is the gig mentioned above that we then purchased in 1929.

In the early years a popular way of raising funds was to hold sweepstakes on all big horse races, they also had lottery tickets.

Some winning crews and tidbits of information from this era consisted of:
1929 – Nagambie - Corowa Lightweight Maiden Premier – G Rosser, J Cuthbert, S Loverage, T Ash, N Adams (cox/coach)
1930 – Corowa Maiden Premiers – G Rosser, J Cuthbert, V Howard, D Howard, N Adams (cox/coach)
19 November 1930 it was moved that the club purchase a racing boat from Edwards & Sons which was named ‘Corowa Lass’ on 23 January 1931.
1931 – Corowa Youth Premiers – F Kernaghan, A Osborne, B Tucker, C Philips, N Adams (cox) and D Howard (Coach)
1931 – Moodemere – Maiden Four – R Howard (Stroke), V Howard, J Cuthbert, G Rosser and N Adams (Cox)
In 1932 the Mayor of Corowa, Mr J Chivell, tendered a civic reception to visiting VRA officials and oarsmen.
1932 – Henley – Junior Four – G Rosser, J Cuthbert, V Howard, R Howard, N Adams (cox)
1933 – Moodemere - Maiden Four – G Rosser, A Ash, C Bextream, R Howard, G Wilson (cox)
1933 – Maiden Fours – H Strong, J Marsh, J Bufford, J Neilson, N Adams (cox)
1933/4 – Junior Four – G Rosser, T Ash, C Bextream, R Howard, N Adams (cox)
1934 – Moodemere - Maiden Four – G Rosser, A Ash, C Bextream, R Howard, G Wilson (cox)

1931-34 Maiden and Junior Four
G Rosser, J Cuthbert, V Howard, R Howard

It was at the August 1934 meeting that the matter of changing from poppets to swivels first come up, but was held over for the present period of time.

The club purchased a racing boat and on 22 November 1934 it was named ‘DC Brown’

In 1935 the membership fee was Seniors 10/6 and youths 7/6 (bit different to the $150 seniors and $75 U18 that it is in 2013)
The club was going thorough a successful period and was able to also purchase a racing pair in September 1935, which was named ‘John Chivell’ in December 1935.

1935 – Nagambie – Maiden Pairs – J Strong & H McInnes
1935 – Mildura – Junior Fours – Harry Strong, George Strong, Jack Neilson, John Marsh

Harry Strong, George Strong, Jack Neilson, John Marsh

1935 – Youth Four – F Taylor, A Cosi..rne, B Oswald, B Quin, N Adams (cox)
1935 – Footscray – Junior Pair – J Strong & H McInnes (all Corowa Final)
1935/6/7 – Youths Four – F Taylor, O Wilson, L Bartlett, A Osborne, N Adams (Cox)
1936 – Moodemere – Maiden Pair – J Strong & H McInnes; Junior Pairs – J Marsh & J Neilson
1936 – Footscray – Junior Pairs – W Jones & H McInnes; Senior Pairs – J Marsh & J Neilson
1936 – Upper Yarra – Junior Pairs – W Jones & H McInnes; Senior Pairs – J Marsh & J Neilson
1936 – Ballarat – Senior Pairs – W Jones & H McInnes
1936 one member J Nielson rowed in the Victorian King’s Cup crew and in the same year W Jones was also selected although unable to row on the day.

The 1936 Victorian Eight

It was finally in this year that the club changed from poppets to swivels in August 1936 – Max Maclean remembers this change as he did not like swivels

1941 saw the first life membership awarded to GW Rosser.

In 1944, during the Second World War, Corowa lent its boats and oars to RAAF units stationed at Corowa and Tocumwal.

1945 – Rutherglen - Youth Fours – T Howell, G Cook, G Dwyer, K Green, F Berry (cox)
1945 – Mulwala - Youth Fours – T Howell, G Cook, G Dwyer, K Green, F Berry (cox) same crew also won the Maiden fours at this regatta.
1945 – Yarrawonga – Maiden Fours – T Howell, G Cook, G Dwyer, K Green, B Faulkner (cox); Open Fours – C Green, T Ash, J Grimmond, R Howard, B Faulkner (cox)

With R.Howard as Secretary for many years from 1946 interest in the club was sustained

At the 17th April 1947 meeting it was moved that the new boat the club purchased be named ‘Duff Howard’.

Christening of the Duff Howard

To run water to the shed they used to have to use Fred Taylor’s old Bedford truck to tow a single forough to make a trench and it usually had Max Maclean hanging off it. The water was finally connected to the shed on 11 December 1947. It was also at this time the club notified the council that the club intended to put electric lights in the shed.

In 1948 the rowers travelled to Bairnsdale in the back of a stock truck belonging to Alf Martin. This truck was covered in canvas with boats on top and the rowers camped in the truck. The were 14 people that travelled to this regatta and when the host club Barinsdale asked if there was anything the club needed, Duff Howard was quick to ask for 7lb steak for breakfast for the crews. When the club travelled to Melbourne the above stock truck even made it to Boathouse Drive in front of the Mercantile Shed – wonder what they all thought!!

On the 8 March 1948 the committee decided to try and borrow some thoul pins from Wahgunyah Rowing Club until others could be purchased. This year the membership was 1-1-0 senior and 10/6 U18.

Max also was responsible of the planting of the plane trees around the shed in the late 1940’s.

1948 – Mulwala – Maiden Four – R Faulkner, M Maclean, G Noonan, F Taylor, B Stanger (cox)
1948 – Mulwala – Youth Fours – R Faulkner, J Faulkner, G Noonan, M Maclean, G Rosser (cox)
1948 – Yarrawonga – Maiden Four – R Faulkner, M Maclean, G Noonan, F Taylor, G Rosser (cox) Youth Four – R Faulkner, L Howell, G Noonan, M Maclean, G Rosser (Cox)
1953 – Moodemere - Lightweight Fours - G Rosser, B Richardson, G Clarke, M Maclean cox S Weston
1954 - Moodemere – Beginners Pair - I Harrison, B Harris cox T Cornelius
13 October 1955 the club brought 2 second hand tub pairs and a set of swivels that they decided to rig practice boats with.

It wasn’t until 7.30pm on 17 October 1956 though that a working bee was to be held to covert oars and change to swivels and they also revarnished boats.

1957 - Yarrawonga – Begineers Pair - K Howard, B Lugg, cox P Rosser
1957 - Yarrawonga – Novice Pair- H Dam, R Rosser cox P Rosser; Novice Fours H Dam, R Rosser, J Middleton, J Van Klaveron cox T Cornelius

August 1958 saw a letter to Victoria Rowing Assocation re the changing of registered colours of the club to the colours that they still currently use today.

This same month saw the club order a tub pair with oars, this boat was named ‘Guys & Doll’s in May 1959.

1958 - Moodemere – Novice Four - H Dam, R Rosser, J Middleton, J Van Klaveron cox T Cornelius; Beginner Four – B harris, K Howard, R Lugg, I Harris cox B Bender
28 July 1959 saw DC Brown honoured with a life membership for all his years of service to the club.

The committee also ordered another new boat – this time a racing pair from J Botterill that was delivered in November 1959 and was christened ‘Corowa Citzens’.

The Christeneing of the Corowa Citizens

1960 B K Howard and S J Van Klavern with M Bugler cox won the Junior Pair Oared Championship of Victoria. The next state championship wouldn’t come until 2003.

The Corowa Citzens boat was taken to Barham for use of Corowa’s Olympic test crew.

In July 1960 the first step was taken that would ultimately end up with the river having an 8 knot zone out the front of rowing shed. A letter was sent to council asking that motor boats owners be discouraged from using water in front of rowing sheds.

At the open day on 8 October 1960 – Mr D Rowles stated that some ladies had approached him about learning to row, this was to be discussed at the next meeting – looking forward to the next meeting minutes shows no mention of this being brought up!!!

On the 15 November 1960 the club purchased 2 Racing oars from G Towns 11’-10 1/2” long 30” blade and 6 ¾” wide, inboard 3’-8” at a cost of 9 pounds plus 12 1/2% sales tax. It was also discussed the possibility of having light connected for certain periods during the season.

This year the club held a pig raffle – the pig was donated by WJ Buckingham and the president urged all members to sell extra tickets to increase their profit.
Another raffle the next year Mr R Moffat donated a duck and the club added a fowl and 6 beers as prizes.

1962 saw the president, treasurer and secretary draw up balance sheets and all members had to become financial within a week after correspondence from Victoria Rowing Association regarding dis-affiliation.

1968 - Yarrawonga – Novice Pair - D Martin, G Grimmond cox D Northey

The club continued to work hard travelling around Victoria competing against crews at all levels with success. The travel was always an issue with long trips to Melbourne with boats and rowers but the club remained competitive and made a strong presence on the water.

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