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History of Barwon Rowing Club

Chapter 5 - The Heroes of Old 1901-1919

Chapter 5 page 1 2 3 4 5 6

Then, early in 1912 a small steam paddle launch, the Perseverance, began excursions between the Barwon bridge and the Moorabool junction, reviving commercial interest in the river. A public meeting was convened by the Mayor of Geelong for 6 February 1912 to consider the best means of making the river navigable. Among those attending were the rowing fraternity, with W. H. Pincott representing Barwon Rowing Club. The state of the river was said to be a disgrace; the breakwater had stopped all sewage from flowing down the river for years and an abominable stench came from it which was said to reach as far as Newtown. It was also rumoured to cause sickness and disease. The public meeting formed the Barwon River Navigation League. The Geelong Harbor Trust, the river's controlling body, local councils and the State Government were approached to have the first breakwater removed and a lock constructed in place of the second, at an estimated cost of £3000. The League envisioned hundreds of small craft conveying people and products from Geelong to Barwon Heads. However, the Harbor Trust costed the works at £9000. The League then approached the Public Works Department who prepared their own report. The department's chief engineer, Mr. Catani, proposed to cut costs by one-third by allowing a shallower cutting through the Connewarre lakes. Catani's detailed plan called for the removal of the first breakwater, the strengthening of the second breakwater, the construction of a concrete lock with wooden gates near Sparrowvale farm, the cutting of a channel nine metres wide and a metre deep through Lake Connewarre and dredging the remainder of the river of a depth of 76cm and nine metres wide through to Barwon Heads. The scheme foundered a few years later. The Harbor Trust refused to undertake the work because the local councils involved were unable, or unwilling, to guarantee indemnity from possible damages claims from the riverside manufacturers.

Barwon Maiden Eight Winners Ballarat and Barwon Regattas Marks Cup 1908
P Hardman (cox), A Colenso (stroke), E Shannon, M Sayer, N Marshall,
M Bingley, E Belcher, S Barnfather, H Mc Callum. W H Pincott (coach)
H Shannon (emergency) rowed at Ballarat

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