Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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RAMAGE, David Barton

David Ramage, 2012.

David Ramage, 2012.

RAMAGE, David Barton

An Olympic rower, David is the son of a former Scotch College student, Ralph Barton Ramage (1907-1990) and Mildred nee Sinclair and entered Geelong College as a day student in 1951. An accomplished sportsman he began rowing at Senior School in the 7th VIII in 1954 and rapidly worked up to the 1st VIII in 1956 and 1957. In both of these years the College won the Head of the River. He also played in the 1st Football XVIII in 1957.

He continued rowing after leaving school in a variety of State and National competitions. As a member of the Corio Rowing Club, David rowed with great success in fours and eights and was a member of the senior four, coached by Albert Bell, which won thirty-two consecutive races and finished second in the Commonwealth Games at Perth in 1962. He was a member of the Victorian King’s Cup crew which won in Brisbane in 1963 and Perth in 1964. At the 1964 OLYMPIC GAMES at Tokyo, he rowed as Stroke in the valiant Men’s VIII that rowed eighth in the Final. In 1968, at Mexico, he was again a member of the Australian Olympic Team and rowed stroke in the Men’s Coxless Pairs with Paul Guest, coming seventh in the Final.

David Ramage returned to the School to coach rowing from 1973 to 1978, introducing many changes to the training regime and developing team spirit. The College crew won the Head of the River in 1976. Jim Ferguson commented that ‘his youthful enthusiasm and friendly manner enabled him to inspire boys. His crews enjoyed their rowing.’ So successful was this fresh approach that in 1975 the College 1st VIII came 2nd in the Head of the River, won in 1976 and again came 2nd in 1977. His return as coach in 1989 and 1990 was promptly rewarded by a 1st VIII victory in the 1990 Head of the River. David’s son Ben was also educated at Geelong College from 1975 to 1982.

David Ramage was inducted into the Old Geelong Collegians' Association (OGCA) Notables Gallery in October 2014.

Sources: Ad Astra September 1972; James Mephan Ferguson: No Passengers and the Will to Win: Ad Astra July 2014 p51; OGC 1953.
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