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History of Fremantle Rowing Club 1887-1987

By Ralph Jeffreys

7. More Success and a new Boatshed 1957-67

Chapter Seven page 1 2

Senior Rowing in the Club continued very strongly the State Championship Pair Title was won by Peter Hall (Stroke), Brian Coughlan (Bow) and Peter Jeffreys (Cox) in 1963, and in 1964 Peter Hall (Stroke), Tom Barbin (Bow) and John Neville (Cox) successfully retained the title for the Club.

1962 Champion Eight

1962 Champion Eight

Frank Lowry (str), Ron Hardy (7), Peter Hall (6), Brian Coughlan (5), Don Lewis (4), Jack Hall (3), Bob Brealey (2), Laurie Fuller (bow) Peter Jeffreys (cox), Bob Semple (coach)

1n 1965 the Club repeated the 1962 performance with a clean sweep of the open championships the crews being Peter Hall (Str), Ron Hardy (7), Don Lewis (6), Wally Triplett (5), Lindsay Wallis (4), John Brazier (3), Bob Brealey (2), Stan Omodei (Bow), John Neville (cox), Eddy Edwards and Ralph Jeffreys (Coaches). The winning margin was 10 lengths and the time for the three miles 16 minutes 48 seconds. Peter Hall (Str) Ron Hardy (3), Bob Brealey (2), Don Lewis (Bow) and John Neville (Cox) won the four by 6 lengths with time for the two miles 13 minutes 17 seconds and in the pair Peter Hall (Str), Ron Hardy (Bow) and John Neville (Cox) won by eight lengths with the time for the two miles 14 minutes 55 seconds.

The 1966 Season provided the Club with its fourth Premiership. The Seniors had stamped their mark on the top rowing and continued to perform well. George Backhouse had gathered a crew from the successful Novice Eight and produced a very fine crew which won the Champion Maiden Eight. Winning Championship crews were:-
Champion Eight - Peter Hall (Stroke), Ron Hardy (7), Don Lewis (6), John Brazier (5), Harry Sweeting (4), Wally Triolet (3), Lindsay Wallis (2), Stan Omodei (Bow), John Neville (Cox) and Bob Semple (Coach).

Champion Pair - Peter Hall (Stroke), Ron Hardy (Bow) and John Neville (Cox)

Champion Maiden Eight - Norm Rowe (Stroke), Vic Sullivan (7), Ray Kelleher (6), Rick Martin (5), Robert Wright (4), Laurie Stewart (3), Brian Wright (2), Alan Sullivan (Bow) and George Backhouse Cox and Coach.

It was a real premiership year, the Club winning fifty of the Pennant Races which was 26 more than the next Club. In addition to winning the Premiership Pennant, the Club won the Senior Grade Pennant, the Coxless Pennant and the Maiden Grade Pennant. There were some individual results which emerged Peter Hall won 17 Pennant Races. Vic Sullivan won 16 Pennant Races including a "treble" on three separate occasions. Don Lewis (Club Captain) also won 16 Pennant Races. The Novice Grade coached by George Stamatiades and Ralph Jeffreys performed successfully and provided good oarsmen for the Maiden Eight.

1967 saw victories gained in the Champion Four by Don Lewis (Stroke), John Brazier (3), Lindsay Wallis (2), Stan Omodei (Bow) and John Neville (Cox) and Champion Pair by Peter Hall (Stroke), Ron Hardy (Bow) and John Neville (Cox) who thus recorded their third win in the event and Peter Hall his sixth successive win. George Backhouse again gathered together a good crew of young oarsmen and convincingly won the Champion Junior Eight with a very fine performance. The crew was Tony Preston (Stroke), Tom Eyres (7), Ray Kelleher (6), David Giles (5), Norm Rowe (4), Ken Parkes (3), Owen Fletcher (2), Alan Sullivan (Bow), John Neville (Cox) and George Backhouse (Coach).

It had been a golden era for the Clubs group of Senior Oarsmen, the main body of which commenced their novice rowing during the season 1964. They were a very talented and strong body of oarsmen who as well as serving the Club on the river provided outstanding administrators. An appended table to this history gives evidence of the representation which was gained by them in King's Cup Crews - an aggregate of 28 appearances was due acknowledgement of their success. In 1965 Peter Hall was selected W.A. Oarsman of the year and both in 1966 and 1967 Don Lewis received the award. This award includes service to the sport in Western Australia of which rowing success is included as a part. Senior Rowing has declined in the Club since that period, caused mainly by Junior Oarsmen reaching the age at which advancement in their occupation comes under pressure and the time available for competitive racing becomes very limited.

Chapter Seven page 1 2

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