1946 QLD GPS Head of the River
The 1946 Head of the River was conducted on Saturday 4th May 1946 on the Milton Reach of the Brisbane River.
This year's event on the Milton Reach was the first official Head of the River since 1941 with the regatta suspended due to World War II.
Rowing in a 'Thames Club style', the english rowing style of Brisbane Boys' College throughout the challenge regattas from 1942-1945 had enabled the College to virtually monopolise the competition. This trend would continue in 1946 with B.B.C. again winning all contests on the programme.
The Queensland Times credited Brisbane Boy's College's success to the school's policy of establishing a nursery of sorts whereby young rowers are placed in the fifth crew to be 'blooded' against senior competition whilst racing in the Thirds Crew contest.
The College would again boat 5 Crews in 1946. (Page 4, Queensland Times, Friday 2nd May 1946)
A feeling relief no doubt punctuated the atmosphere of the Brisbane River during on the afternoon of Saturday 4th May 1946.
After a tragic war, the return of the official Head of the River in peace time had delivered a sense of normality back to the Brisbane school rowing community. It was noted that young people were seen celebrating long into night in the aftermath of the regatta. (Page 7, Sunday Mail, Sunday 5th May 1946)
Great Public Schools Association
All Schools Championship Four
The O'Connor Cup
Distance: 0.75 Mile
Winning Time: 4:33.00
1.25 Lengths (1-2)
3.5 Lengths (2-3)
Dead Heat for Third.
1st Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: G. L. Boyd 10st 9lb, 2: B. H. Newell 11st, 3: N. F. Holland 11st 7lbs, Str: J. R. Cameron 9st 9lbs, Cox: V. Trevethan 7st 10lbs, Coach: Mr. T. W. Erskine
2nd Church of England Grammar School - Bow: P. F. Bekkers 11st 5lbs, 2: G. R. Matthews 12st 2lbs, 3: N. E. Gow 12st 12lbs, Str: P. A. Taylor 11st 4lbs, Cox: R. G. McNamara 7st 10lbs, Coach: J. A. Thompson
3rd The Southport School - Bow: N. N. Ferrier 12st 8lbs, 2: V. A. Blanschard 11st 7lbs, 3: G. Shell 12st 5lbs, Str: R. W. Betts 11st 5lbs, Cox: P. S. MacDonnell 7st 10lbs
3rd Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: R.A. Dore 10st 6lbs, 2: P. Grenning 11st 4lbs, 3: D. R. Sault 12st 1lbs, Str: D. R. Steele 11st 12lbs, Cox: N. M. Brown 8st 4lbs
Winning Crew: Brisbane Boys' College
“ Dick Betts, stroke of the Southport crew, greasing his oars in preparation for the head of the river race to be rowed on the Milton reach on Saturday. It will be the first official head of the river held since 1941. All the members of Southport’s first crew have been promoted since last year’s race.” (Page 7, The Courier-Mail, 2 May 1946)
1946 Church of England Grammar School First IV
The Stroke of the 1946 Church of England Grammar School, P. A. Taylor, represented Queensland at the 1950 King's Cup.
In 1992, Anglican Church Grammar School commemorated their 1946 Head of the River Runner Up coach by naming a foar-oared racing boat in his honour. John Arthur Thompson attended Churchie from 1927 to 1931. He was a Prefect and Captain of Rowing and won an open scholarship to the University of Brisbane in 1931. He graduated in Science at the end of 1934 and completed honours in 1935. He joined the teaching staff at Churchie in 1936 and became immediately involved in the boatshed, having been a member of the Rowing Committee from that year. He coached the 2nd IV in 1937 and thereafter coached the 1st and 2nd and 3rds IVs until 1946 with a very high success rate (10 first places and 9 seconds among the 27 crews he coached). He teamed up with Max Mattingley to run the boathouse in a very successful era. He left in 1947 to become first Director of the Australian Institute for Archaeology in Melbourne. He completed his PhD at Cambridge University in 1963.
The M.A.P. Mattingley and the J. A. Thompson came into the shed through old boy benefactor, Graham Fowles, who wanted to recognise the contribution of the two men who had coached him to Head of the River success. In the 1992 Head of the River, the Churchie U15 First IV rowed to victory in the J. A. Thompson.
The Race Described
"The "Head of the River" was rowed on May 4, when a fine morning with a slight breeze made racing conditions excellent. B.B.C. took the lead with a fine start, rating 36. After the first dozen strokes, [B.B.C.] had an advantage of a canvas over C.E.G.S., who were rating 38, with Grammar and Southport next in that order.
At the quarter mile mark, the crew had settled down very well, and by driving hard [B.B.C.] lengthened the lead to a length, rating slightly lower than the C.E.G.S. crew, with Grammar in third position, having a slight advantage over Southport. At the half-mile, C.E.G.S. made a gallant effort to overtake us, but by more work, B.B.C. withstood the challenge: at this stage there was no decided change in the position of the other two crews.
As the crews approached the finishing line, B.B.C. had a lead of a little over a length from C.E.G.S., with Southport making a magnificent effort to overtake B.G.S. To the accompaniment of cheers from our supporters, B.B.C. passed the finishing line with a length and a quarter lead from C.E.G.S. Southport and Grammar were still battling it out for third position and crossed the line in a dead heat."
Pages 49, 51, The Portal, December 1946 Edition
All Schools' Second Four
Distance: 0.75 Mile
Winning Time: n/a
5 Lengths (1-2)
3 Lengths (2-3)
1st Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: A. C. Wood 10st 5lb, 2: A. Burnett 10st 5lbs, 3: J. L. Ward 10st 9lbs, Str: N. D. Wilson 10st 6lbs, Cox: J. W. Cameron 7st, Coach: T. W. Erskine
2nd Church of England Grammar School - Bow: E. R. Elson 10st, 2: J. D. Thompson 11st 2lbs, 3: R. T. Francis 11st 10lbs, Str: K. L. Barry 11st 1lbs, Cox: R. C. Archibald 7st 12lbs, Coach: J. A. Thompson
3rd Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: G. D. Mathewson, 2: B. Fury, 3: G. McCann, Str: N. Bennett, Cox: A. Wiltshire
4th The Southport School - Bow: N. N. Ferrier 12st 8lbs, 2: V. A. Blanshard 11st 7lbs, 3: G. Shell 12st 5lbs, Str: R. W. Betts 11st 5lbs, Cox: T. S. McDonnell 8st 2lbs
Winning Crew: Brisbane Boys' College II
The Race Described
"Although all crews got away well, at the end of the "hard dozen," B.B.C. had something like half a length on C.E.G.S., who had a comfortable lead on B.G.S. and T.S.S. Rating about 30 and in perfect unison, B.B.C. increased this lead to a length at the half way mark.
Here the cox asked for a hard dozen and, as a result, B.B.C. gained yet another half length. C.E.G.S. answered with a hard dozen, but this, however, did not reduce the distance between them and B.B.C., while at this point B.G.S. and T.S.S. were some distance behind C.E.G.S. and were timing badly.
With about 200 yards to go, B.B.C. increased their rating to about 33 and began to draw away from C.E.G.S. who had lost their timing and were tiring. The B.B.C. crew crossed five lengths ahead of C.E.G.S with B.G.S. and T.S.S. third and fourth respectively."
Page 51, The Portal, December 1946 Edition
All Schools' Third Four
Distance: 0.75 Mile
Winning Time: 5:25.00
1/2 a canvas (1-3)
1st Church of England Grammar School - Bow: W. H. Hyne 9st 4lb, 2: R. M. Davidson 11st 6lbs, 3: N. H. Duckworth 12st 8lbs, Str: S. B. Rudd 11st 1lb, Cox: C. Luck 7st 6lbs, Coach: J. A. Thompson
1st Brisbane Boys’ College III - Bow: A. J. Scott 10st 7lbs, 2: K. J. Mann 10st, 3: H. J. Smith 11st 6lbs, Str: K. C. Duncombe 9st, Cox: N. Geldard
3rd Church of England Grammar School - Bow C. S. Brett, 2: C. Copeman, 3: G. Wilson, Str: D. J. McTaggart, Cox: M. Fleming, Coach: J. A. Thompson
4th Brisbane Boys’ College IV - Bow: H. J. Lindsay, 2: J. L. Riddell, 3: T. E. Hambling, Str: R. W. Kellaway, Cox: G. Cook
5th Brisbane Boys’ College V - Bow: B. Smith, 2: N. L. Perkins, 3: J. D. Wedemeyer, Str: K. B. Crookston, Cox: W. Lovegrove
The Race Described:
"In this race three College crews were entered, their only rivals being two C.E.G.S. crews. B.B.C. III took the lead from the start closely followed by C.E.G.S. III. As a result of a "hard dozen," B.B.C. III increased their lead by two lengths from C.E.G.S. III, which they maintained for the next half mile.
As the boats neared the finishing line, C.E.G.S. III, closely followed by C.E.G.S. IV were rapidely overhauling B.B.C. III. With a fine burst, C.E.G.S. III drew level with B.B.C. III. Both crews battled hard and crossed the line in a "dead heat," closely followed by C.E.G.S. IV, with B.B.C. IV and B.B.C. V. bringing up the rear."
Page 61, The Portal, December 1946 Edition
Page 6, The Courier-Mail, Wednesday 1st May 1945 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/50274082?searchTerm=Head%20of%20River
Page 7, The Courier-Mail, Thursday 2nd May 1946 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/2012418
Page 4, The Telegraph, Saturday 4th May 1946 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/201323519?searchTerm=bekkers%2011.5
Page 4, Queensland Times, 2 May 1946 edition via Trovehttps://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/114568643?searchTerm=Head%20of%20River
Page 7, Sunday Mail, Sunday 5 May 1946 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/98374448?searchTerm=head%20of%20river
Page 49-53, The Portal, December 1946 Edition via Trove https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1563746852/view?partId=nla.obj-1563815301#page/n50/mode/1up
Pages 45-52, Churchie Rowing by Peter Jell, Published by Anglican Church Grammar School
Pages 73-77, Churchie Rowing by Peter Jell, Published by Anglican Church Grammar School
Page 68-98, Churchie Rowing by Peter Jell, Published by Anglican Church Grammar School
Page 158, Churchie Rowing by Peter Jell, Published by Anglican Church Grammar School