History of Newcastle Rowing Club
Part 3 -Twentieth Century Rowing in Newcastle (continued)
Another attempt to reform NRC
Participation by Sydney University, Mercantile and Balmain in a regulation fours event at the 1909 Newcastle Annual Regatta prompted a member of the committee to be hopeful "that the visit of these crews will result in the formation of a strong amateur rowing club in Newcastle. Amateur rowing in Newcastle has been a thing of the past for many years and if anything it will give it impetus".
Perhaps it was just coincidence that just a month later, on Thursday 4 February 1909, the Mayor of Newcastle, Alderman Andrew Cook, convened a meeting aimed at forming an amateur rowing club in Newcastle. The following advertisement appeared in the Newcastle Morning Herald.
The meeting attracted a large attendance which decided to form the "Newcastle Amateur Rowing Club" (afterwards generally referred to as Newcastle Rowing Club). The Mayor was appointed President, C Hollingsworth, Treasurer and Mr C Robbins Secretary. At the followup meeting on 18 February, S S Arnott, J C Wood, EA M Merewether [eldest son of NRC's first president, E C Merewether], S S Cohen, H H Laing and F Richardson were elected vice presidents. This modest number of vice presidents was the result of a rescission motion following an apparent decision of the initial meeting that there be forty-five.
Naturally, early discussion was about boats and a boatshed. The secretary of Balmain RC wrote advising that his club had expended £407 for a shed, boats, oars, etc. Two regulation fours had cost £72. On that basis, the cost of establishing a club in Newcastle was estimated to be £200 providing a shed did not have to be built. It appeared that there were two sheds available at Stockton that, if repaired, would be suitable. Either would cost about Â£30. One was 72' x 12', the other 53' x 12'. Mr Furey thought that, for a number of reasons, it would be "suicidal" to set up at Stockton. One such reason was the likelihood southerly winds would make rowing impossible. Nonetheless, it was decided that the availability of the sheds at Stockton be investigated.
Mr Furey suggested that that the club also write to the Minister of Lands about obtaining permissive occupancy on land on the western side of the wave trap [Horse Shoe Beach]. An entertainment committee of Cook, Robbins, Hollinshead, O'Sullivan and Furey was formed to raise funds. An entry fee of one guinea and subscription of 10/6 per quarter were adopted.
During the initial meetings, the new committee stressed the need to maintain momentum by quickly getting rowing underway. Probably due to the inability to obtain boats without adequate starting capital this new attempt to restart the club failed.
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